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

A man may loathe a thing in the abstract for years, and find at last that all the time he has been guilty of it. To carry a thing under our cloak caressingly, hides from us its identity with something that stands before us on the public pillory. Of all who will one day stand in dismay and sickness of heart, with the consciousness that their very existence is a shame, those will fare the worst who have been consciously false to their fellows; who, pretending friendship, have used their neighbor to their own ends; and especially those who, pretending friendship, have divided friends. To such Dante has given the lowest hell. If there be one thing God hates, it must be treachery. Do not imagine Judas the only man of whom the Lord would say, “Better were it for that man if he had never been born!” Did the Lord speak out of personal indignation, or did he utter a spiritual fact? Did he speak in anger at the treachery of his apostle, or in pity for the man that had better not have been born? Did the word spring from his knowledge of some fearful punishment awaiting Judas, or from his sense of the horror it was to be such a man? Beyond all things pitiful is it that a man should carry about with him the consciousness of being such a person—should know himself that false one! “O God,” we think, “how terrible if it were I!” Just so terrible is it that it should be Judas! Have I not done things with the same germ in them, a germ which, brought to it evil perfection, would have shown itself treachery? Except I love my neighbor as myself, I may one day betray him! Let us therefore be compassionate and humble, and hope for every man.