The Masquerade

Poets and painters have portrayed Satan as a hideous creature, with horns and hoofs. If I were a poet, I would describe him with manners polished to the last perfection, hair flowing in graceful ringlets, eye glistening with splendor; hands soft and diamonded; step light and graceful; voice mellow as a flute; boot elegantly shaped; conversation eloquent, carefully toned, and Frenchy; breath perfumed until it would seem that nothing had ever touched his lips, but balm and myrrh. But his heart I would encase with the scales of a monster, then filled with pride, with beastliness of lust, with recklessness, with hypocrisy, with death, with damnation!

Then I would have him touched with some magic wand of disenchantment–until his two eyes would become the cold orbs of the adder; and on his lip would come the foam of raging intoxication; and to his feet the spring of the panther; and his soft hand would become the clammy hand of a wasted skeleton; and in the smooth lisp of his tongue, would come the hiss of the worm which never dies; while suddenly from his heart would burst in all-devouring fury—the unquenchable flames of hell!

But, until disenchanted, I would describe him as nothing but myrrh, and balm, and ringlet, and diamond, and flute-like voice, and pleasant and mirthful conversation. “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light!” 2 Corinthians 11:14. “So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

T. De Witt Talmage