Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.
This he says, because their disposition was froward, deceitful, and dissolute. They have these numberless bad qualities; and because they are prone to lying, deceiving, gluttonous, and slothful, severe reproof is necessary. For such characters will not be managed by mildness, therefore rebuke them. He speaks not here of Gentiles, but of his own people. Sharply. Give them, he says, a stroke that cuts deep. For one method is not to be employed with all, but they are to be differently dealt with, according to their various characters and dispositions. He does not here have recourse to exhortation. For as he who treats with harshness the meek and ingenuous, may destroy them; so he who flatters one that requires severity, causes him to perish, and does not suffer him to be reclaimed.
That they may be sound in the faith.
This then is soundness, to introduce nothing spurious, nor foreign. But if they who are scrupulous a...