The sensual pleasures and attractions of Venusberg entice and beckon the christian of today no less than they did Tannhauser. He succumbed, but he later repented (to some of Wagner's glorious music). Easter certainly offers a good opportunity or impetus for anyone to continue his resurrection from the wholly false beliefs of life, truth, intelligence, and substance in matter, to cease being victimized by the material senses (S&H p. 294).
Anything which excites, delights, engages, or just soothes one's physical senses will tend to blur his spiritual vision and cause him to stumble into the mire of the Slough of Despond. He can then give up, like Obstinate and Pliable, and return to the City of Destruction or, like Christian, fight his way through to the far side of the slough and continue on his spiritual way to the Celestial City. One of John Bunyan's margin notes [I wonder if Mrs. Eddy got the idea from him?] early in "The Pilgrim's Progress" reads: "Christ and the way to him cannot be found without the Word". The exceedingly inspired Bunyan does not shilly-shally in trivial theological hairsplitting or distracting minutia. Christian gets into trouble when he is beguiled by Mr. Worldly-Wiseman, who ceaselessly peddles his palaver, to turn aside from the strait way and go into the village of Morality, a kind of village in the plain of Ono.
To return to my hobbyhorse of the previous entry, this is why any visual yoo-hoo in the periodicals can lead the undisciplined, incautious, or bovine thought to wander in the seductive and perilous Venusberg of the senses. The periodicals are obviously written for mortals, but not for mortals qua mortals, i.e., not in order to appeal to what is mortal in them, and not for their amusement, but for their edification. Pictures appeal most strongly to mortal man's visual sense. The Word speaks to man's consciousness, and as this consciousness is dematerialized Truth will grow clearer and more distinct to thought. If there is a need for the periodicals at all then there is a need for more inspired, penetrating, and timely articles, not for the pleasant opiates of pretty pictures, bric-a-brac, and froufrou.
Note: To EW, I meant by sprinter that my forte, to the extent I have one, is in short pieces, not the long-distance "race" of a book. Also, a book, to be worth the considerable effort it would take to write, would have to find someone willing to publish it and get it into bookstores, almost impossible challenges today for an unknown scribbler.