Lord of the world was written by Robert Hugh Benson in 1908. He was an Anglican who changed and became a catholic priest. He died soon after writing this book at the age of forty one. Though it is 103 years ago its message finds a great place in our society today.
It describes a social world of human beings that did not recognize the need for religion that eventually leads to forgiveness and every good thing that one may expect. The people in the world were hopeless and only had death as the end of life. This essay will discuss sin, its consequences and redemption. Sin and redemption are the basis of religion and this will help analyze people’s attitude towards sin and redemption.
Sin can be viewed as going against a divine law. It is evil and usually immoral and it affects how humanity relates with God. Firstly, Benson brings out his point that pain is as a result of sin. This sin is, he argues “Well, sin is rebellion of mans will against Gods” (Benson 33). He further describes that the freedom that God gave mankind was to make him love him but then man misused the freedom and sinned.
Sin bought guilt to the sinner. Guilt causes the sinner to bear the consequences for his actions. This can be physical, such as beatings, jailing or paying of fines. Worse is the psychological guilt that gets in ones heart. Sin was a name given to describe a value worse than all vices.
It was known to be deadly and poisonous by Christians: “This madness then was the one crime which still deserved a name; Murder, theft, rape, even anarchy itself, were as trifling faults compared to this monstrous sin…” (Benson 233). In the ordinary world, sin is referred to as monstrous because it causes a person a painful experience and ends up hurting a person’s heart. In a Christian perspective, the author argued that can spread to the deepest part of a human being. Benson referred to it as a deadly poison:
Every cell that becomes infected with it was infected in that very fiber that bound it to spring of life. This, and this alone was the supreme crime of High Treason against man-and nothing but complete removal from the world could be a complete remedy. (Benson 233)
Benson believed that the situation in which mankind was in called for a need for something to be carried out; this, therefore, called for redemption to prevent humankind from perishing.
Sin betrays trust: “If you tell me on your word of honor that there is no woman in the case, or no particular program of sin you propose to work out, shall believe you; I swear to you there is not” (Benson 33). This statement suggests that sin is all round and that sin is wrong and even people know it subconsciously. If one has no sin, then he can be trusted. It was a culture to swear on so that one can believe in another’s person statement.
The redemption power which is the forgiveness of sins comes from one’s willingness to be forgiven of her/his sin. It is available to all human beings since all are partakers of God’s mercies. Thus, irrespective of whom one was there was pardon for sin. This is captured best by the following thoughts presented by Benson:
You said just now you wanted the forgiveness of sins, well, you have that; we all have it, because there is no such thing as sin. There is only crime, and then communion. You used to believe that God made you a partaker of God. Well we are all partakers of God, because we are human beings. (Benson 93)
Forgiveness of sins was everlasting. This is because forgiveness of sins was passed on through generations. Those who confessed their sins were forgiven.
Forgiveness came after repentance: “Here was this old man, talking in his sleep, babbling of the cross, and the inner life of forgiveness of sins, exactly as his predecessor had talked two thousand years before” (Benson 111). However, not all believed that it was true and there is forgiveness of sins. This is why the man is called stupid. He thought it will be wasting his time making confession.
Redemption is seen to happen to a few that believes. Some had heard this gospel for long but never believed. For example:
Look how Christianity has failed-how it has divided people; think of the cruelties-the inquisition, the religious wars; the separations between husbands and wife and parents and children……What kind of a God would that be! And then hell; how could you ever have believed in that? (Benson 93)
This was a mother’s conversation with her daughter. The mother had heard the gospel for a long time but had not yet believed in it, while the daughter though young could believe sin, punishment and forgiveness.
Sin stains a human being and thus there is need for redemption. This redemption came after confession and repentance and only those that believe in it receive it. It sets one free and prevents pain, saving him from pain and suffering. The good values in the society are also established where there is no sin and redemption. The reason for faith and faithlessness is therefore called to those with who become Christians. In addition evil and violence subsequently diminish in the society.
Benson, Robert. Lord of the World. Washington DC: Cengage Learning, 2005. Print.