The Stern-Visaged Christ: Thomas Carlyle

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How different is that honey-mouthed, tear-stained, soup-kitchen Jesus Christ of our poor shovel-hatted modern Christians from that stern-visaged Christ of the gospels, proclaiming aloud in the marketplace (with such a total contempt of the social respectabilities): “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites”! Descend from your Gigs, ye wretched scoundrels, for the hour is come! . . .

Jesus of Nazareth was of all men the least of a “Penny Lady,” or comprehensive universal Soup-Kitchen character; he pitied sorrow and sin and pain, with an infinite, outbursting, helpful pity, wheresoever he met with it; but so likewise did he smite with an infinite, withering indignation whatsoever deserved that; and on the whole went about with a quite other object that consciously seeking either of these. “To do the will of my Father,”—were it even that of being scourged out of existence, as a failure and a nonentity, and disgrace to the world.

Thomas Carlyle, The Carlyle Encyclopedia p. 251 (as quoted in The Jesus You Can’t Ignore by John MacArthur p. 199)

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