Lesson 45: The Only Way

The Forgiveness of sins.

There was once a king who did something which he ought not to have done: even kings do, sometimes. So a bishop “ticked him off ”; told him that, even though he was king, he had no right to do such a thing. The king lost his temper (kings don’t always like bishops); had the bishop arrested and put into jug, chokey, clink, quod (I beg your pardon, I mean prison); summoned his Cabinet; told them what he had done; said, “Tell me, please, the worst possible punishment I can give this blank blank parson.” "Keep him in jug for the rest of his life,” said the Prime Minister. “Pinch all his money,” said the Chancellor of the Exchequer. “Wring his rotten neck,” said the Lord High Executioner. “No,” said the wisest Cabinet Minister; “you are all wrong. If you keep him in prison, you will only give him more time to say his prayers. If you take his money, you will only rob the poor; for he gives them all he has. If you kill him, you will send him to heaven. If you really wish to punish him in the way that will hurt him most, you must make him sin.”

He was right. In The Church we are brought into fellowship with God (1 St. John 1,3). Sin breaks that fellowship (1 St. John 1, 6); if unforgiven it can cut us off for ever from God (St. John 15, 6). Sin is the worst thing in the world. Nothing is more important than that you and I should know all about The Forgiveness of Sins; for there is no other way to heaven.

Later on I will tell you all about the sacrament provided for this special purpose. Now I want you to realize, and to remember all your life, that whatever sin you may have done, God is willing to and can forgive it. There is nothing greater than the love of God the Father. On the cross God the Son bought, with the shedding of his life-blood, forgiveness for us all. In The Church God the Holy Ghost brings that forgiveness to all who will have it (1 St. John 1,7). It is not God’s fault if we are unforgiven, is it?