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.


by George MacDonald

Excerpted from his sermon, Know Christ, preached in the West Croydon Congregational Church, July 24, 1887, as it appears in George MacDonald in the Pulpit, compiled by J. Joseph Flynn and David Edwards. 

You act as if [God] were not to be trusted. Some of you are troubled from morning to night as if He were not looking after the sparrow, as the Lord said, and some of you say bad things about Him--things impossible for any man who knows Christ to believe. How is it possible that you should know Him, any of you, who understand perfectly that the main end of your life, cover it up as you will, is to make money? You belong to the Devil if you do--that is his way; he offered to our Lord the kingdoms of the earth if He would but worship him. Mammon is only another name for hell. Do you know Christ, and are you able to run the whole energies of your nature towards money making? No; it may not be, because the two things are as essentially opposite as God and the Devil. You won't save your own soul. Are you even trying to? Have you invested anything in the world to come? I am not talking about your faith in this or that doctrine. I care nothing about that. I do not even ask if you are one with the Lord; if you are, your doctrine will be all right; but I am asking whether you have had prudence enough to invest some of the property you are so busy making in the other world--the money, I mean. The Lord tells us we are to make friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness--that which is unrighteousness and mammon to those who love it. I have known people give largely to societies to do good. Do they suppose that the society will be there when they go into the next world? There will be some individuals of them, I suspect, I hope, I do not doubt; but do they ever think what the Lord meant by that strange parable? Did He not mean that we should pass into the other world with a considerable need for someboy to give us a helping hand when we got there? For when we get there we shallhave no pockets. Even if we had any money we could not carry it...

...I believe that for those who are like Dives, the evil is coming for those that had the good things, and I take the Master'sword, though I would go beyond it and interpret it after the manner of men; but there is no escape for you, and you had better makeup your minds to be of the truth, and not need to have all the sheepdogs in the shepherd's court-house sent after you to lay hold on you and worry you into obedience. For God is in earnest...You may not hear Him coming after you, but you will know it when He has hold of you. I believe that the very fire of hell is the fire of love, but it is a love that will furn the evil out of you...