The Scarlet Letter

Can u help explain this quote to me from the Scarlett letter

"I do forgive you, Hester," replied the minister, at length, ... with a deep utterance out of an abyss of sadness, but no anger. "I freely forgive you now. May God forgive us both!"

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I think this is rather ironic. Should Dimmesdale forgive Hester while he his behind her all these years. By this point in the story Hester has come to understand that she has done nothing wrong. Pearl is not some evil bastard child but a precious gift from God. Perhaps, in Dimmesdale's head, he feels Hester has a sense of culpability but I don't believe Hester feels culpable anymore in the eyes of man or in the eyes of God.