For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that has so done this deed,
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George Leo Haydock
Have already judged, decreed, and do decree, being present in spirit with you, and with your congregation.
In the name. With the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one to Satan by a sentence of excommunication, depriving him of the sacraments, the prayers, and communion, and even of the conversation of the rest of the faithful. It is likely in those times, such excommunicated persons were delivered over to Satan, so as to be corporally tormented by the devil. But most divines are of opinion that this man was delivered over to the devil, to strike a terror into others. See St. Chrysostom, hom. xv. and this is said to be done for the destruction, or punishment of the flesh, that the spirit, or soul, may be saved. (Witham)
It is the opinion of most of the Greek fathers, that this man was either really possessed by the devil, or at least struck with such a complaint as a mortification, and humiliation to his body, whilst it served to purify his soul. We have seen from many instan...
Mark his energy. He suffers them not even to wait for his presence, nor to receive him first and then pass the sentence of binding: but as if on the point of expelling some contagion before that it have spread itself into the rest of the body, he hastens to restrain it. And therefore he subjoins the clause, I have judged already, as though I were present. These things moreover he said, not only to urge them unto the declaration of their sentence and to give them no opportunity of contriving something else, but also to frighten them, as one who knew what was to be done and determined there. For this is the meaning of being present in spirit: as Elisha was present with Gehazi, and said, Went not my heart with you? 2 Kings 5:26 Wonderful! How great is the power of the gift, in that it makes all to be together and as one; and qualifies them to know the things which are far off. I have judged already as though I were present.
He permits them not to have any other device. Now I have utter...
(lust) which he had condemned after calling to his aid even "the Lord's power "for fear the sentence should seem human. Therefore he has trifled both with his own "spirit".
If we also, in our diverse provinces, (but) present mutually in spirit,