In the Puritan view of man, the fall had wrought many melancholy effects, but none so terrible as upon his intellect: "O Grief! that most efficacious instrument for arriving at deeply hidden truth, for asserting it, vindicating it and eliminating all confusion" -- that instrument was warped and twisted. Adam had been created in the image of God, possessed of perfect holiness and an intuitive grasp of the principles of right reason, but after the fall he was no longer able to tell what should follow upon what, or to perceive the interconnections of things. Had the race been left in the plight to which he reduced it, surely it would have perished. Fortunately, however, God is merciful as well as just, and He did not utterly forsake His creatures. Knowing that men now desperately required guidance from outside themselves, God gave them explicit commands through the Prophets and through revelation; in order that all aspiration might not be extinguished among them He regenerated the wills of His chosen, and in addition, out of the superfluity of His bounty, He enabled several mortals to reconstruct, to some degree, the method which Adam had possessed in his integrity of drawing conclusions from given premises. In the Puritan conception of the human saga, the art of logic was a particular gift of God, bestowed upon fallen and hapless humanity, in order that they might not collapse in the ineptitude they had brought upon themselves.
Considered therefore in the light of logic, the fall of man had amounted in effect to a lapse from dialectic; the loss of God's image, reduced to the most concrete terms, was simply the loss of an ability to use the syllogism, and innate depravity might most accurately be defined as a congenital incapacity for discursive reasoning. Regarded in this light, whatever mastery of logical methods the heathens, Plato and Aristotle, had achieved resulted