The Bold and Indignant Christ: Charles Haddon Spurgeon

photo: iStock

Brethren, the Savior’s character has all goodness in all perfection; he is full of grace and truth. Some men, nowadays, talk of him as if he were simply incarnate benevolence. It is not so. No lip ever spoke with such thundering indignation against sin as the lips of the Messiah.

“He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap. His fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor.” While in tenderness he prays for his tempted disciple, that his faith may not fail, yet with awful sternness he winnows the heap, and drives away the chaff into unquenchable fire.

We speak of Christ as being meek and lowly in spirit, and so he was. A bruised reed he did not break, and the smoking flax he did not quench; but his meekness was balanced by his courage, and by the boldness with which he denounced hypocrisy. “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; ye fools and blind, ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”

These are not the words of the milksop some authors represent Christ to have been.

He is a man—a thorough man—throughout—a God-like man—gentle as a woman, but yet stern as a warrior in the midst of the day of battle. The character is balanced; as much of one virtue as of another. As in Deity every attribute is full orbed; justice never eclipses mercy, nor mercy justice, nor justice faithfulness; so in the character of Christ you have all the excellent things.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Sweet Saviour” (as quoted in The Jesus You Can’t Ignore by John MacArthur p. 99 [paragraph breaks mine])

  • http://www.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    I enjoyed reading your quote from Spurgeon. I note that he used term “fullers soap”.

    I found this curious, because it is not capitalised in the quotation. I was unaware that this is a term used in the Bible.

    Perhaps it reflects my age that I only new this as a brand name of an old company.

    Upon researching this I learned, Fuller’s soap has been used as a metaphor in the Bible for the purifying ability of the Lord. The New Testament’s story of the transfiguration refers to Christ’s white garments as whiter than any fuller could get them. Malachi 3:2 also states, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.”

    Thanks for the quote and resulting education.