The Final Unmasking

For there is nothing covered, that not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

— Matthew 10:26; Luke 12:2

 

The most supremely terrible revelation is that of a man to himself. What a horror will it not be to a vile man, a man that knew himself such as men of ordinary morals would turn from with disgust, but who has hitherto had no insight into what he is—what a horror will it not be to him when his eyes are opened to see himself as the pure see him, as God sees him! Imagine such a man waking all at once, not only to see the eyes of the universe fixed upon him with loathing astonishment, but to see himself at the same moment as those eyes see him! What a waking, into the full blaze of fact and consciousness, of truth and violation! Or think what it must be for a man counting himself religious, orthodox, exemplary, to perceive suddenly that there was no religion in him, only love of self; no love of the right, only a great love of being in the right! What a discovery—that he was simply a hypocrite—one who loved to appear , and was not! The rich seem to be those among whom will occur hereafter the sharpest reverses, if I understand aright the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Who has not known the insolence of their meanness toward the poor, all the time counting themselves of the very elect! What riches and fancied religion, with the self-sufficiency they generate between them, can make man or woman capable of, is appalling. Mammon, the most contemptible of deities, is the most worshiped, both outside and in the house of God: to many of the religious rich, the great damning revelation will be their behavior to the poor to whom they thought themselves very kind.