The Pall of Guilt Brings the Pall of Ignorance

The most palpable evidence and fearful result of man’s fall from original holiness is the deep and awful ignorance of God, of His character, perfections, and moral government, in which that apostasy has involved him. It was the glory and the happiness of Adam that, before his revolt, not a cloud rested upon his mind tending to obscure the most clear and perfect views of the Divine character which it was possible for a finite creature to possess. He knew God sufficiently for all the purposes of a life wholly conformed to His will, and supremely devoted to His glory. There was no intellectual darkness in his understanding, no moral corruption of his will, nor of his affections. The whole soul constituted as it were an orb of the most beauteous light, kindled by God Himself, and reflecting its beams of beauty on every object in nature.

It is true that, regarding his knowledge of God, nature was his teacher, or rather the medium through which he was taught; that impressions and perceptions of the Divine existence and glory were received mainly through the imagery of sensible objects; that the “invisible things of God were clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” Yet this affords no solid argument in favor of a perfect knowledge of God in nature; for let it be remembered that nature, as a mirror of the Divine glory, was framed for man as innocent, and not for man as guilty; that when by his own act this mirror was defaced and destroyed, with it was destroyed all true natural knowledge of Jehovah.

Had the creature continued in his state of perfect rectitude, then no other revelation of God would have been needed; but throwing around him the pall of guilt, he necessarily threw around him the pall of ignorance. And before there can be clear and perfect light in the soul of the character and perfections of God, there must be a removal of that sin which else must eternally separate God and man. Hence the absolute necessity of just such a revelation of the Father as Jesus, the “true Light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world.”

Octavius Winslow, The Glory of the Redeemer, as published in The Works of Octavius Winslow (Monergism Books, Kindle Edition)