Sunday, July 06, 2014



Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Sermon 7, in The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 14: Sermons, edd. ‎Jean H. Hagstrum and ‎James Gray (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978), p. 78:
And how few there are capable of managing debates without unbecoming heat, or dishonest artifices, how soon zeal is kindled into fury, and how soon a concern for reputation mingles with a concern for truth, how readily the antagonists deviate into personal invectives, and, instead of confuting the arguments, defame the lives of those, whose doctrine they disapprove, and how often disputes terminate in uproar, riot, and persecution, every one is convinced, and too many have experienced.
Id., p. 81:
Happy would it be for the present age if men were now thus distrustful of their own abilities. They would not then adopt opinions, merely because they wish them to be true, then defend what they have once adopted, warm themselves into confidence, and then rest satisfied with the pleasing consciousness of their own sincerity.

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