An Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance / John Foster

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”My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
_Hosea_.
Section I.
It may excite in us some sense of wonder, and perhaps of self-reproach, to
reflect with what a stillness and indifference of the mind we can hear and
repeat sentences asserting facts which are awful calamities. And this
indifference is more than the accidental and transient state, which might
prevail at seasons of peculiar heaviness or languor. The self-inspector
will often be compelled to acknowledge it as a symptom and exemplification
of the _habit_ of his mind, that ideas of extensive misery and
destruction, though expressed in the plainest, strongest language, seem to
come with but a faint glimmer on his apprehension, and die away without
awakening one emotion of that sensibility which so many comparatively
trifling causes can bring into exercise.

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