The Profound Unnaturalness of Sin

Sin is profoundly unnatural. It is the intruder, it is the defiler; it is the fox in the henhouse and the leaven in the bread. But in the event that these illustrations simply aren’t “doing it” for you, I turn the floor over to Arthur Machen. His classic fantasy-horror story The White People opens with a striking reminder of just how unnatural sin really is:

“And what is sin?” said Cotgrave.

“I think I must reply to your question by another. What would your feelings be, seriously, if your cat or your dog began to talk to you, and to dispute with you in human accents? You would be overwhelmed with horror. I am sure of it. And if the roses in your garden sang a weird song, you would go mad. And suppose the stones in the road began to swell and grow before your eyes, and if the pebble that you noticed at night had shot out stony blossoms in the morning?

“Well, these examples may give you some notion of what sin really is.”

As Chesterton would say, this is a white world with black spots, not the other way around. Let us never forget it. There will come a day when it will be made completely white again.

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