"For otherwise, the Pannick may have been caught; the Evidence of the Senses lost, as in a Dream; and the Imagination so inflam'd, as in a moment to have burnt up every Particle of Judgment and Reason. The combustible Matters lie prepar'd within, and ready to take fire at a Spark; but chiefly in a Multitude seiz'd with that Spirit. No wonder if the Blaze arises so of a sudden; when innumerable Eyes glow with the Passion, and heaving Breasts are labouring with Inspiration."
— Cooper, Anthony Ashley, third earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713)
(pp. 44-5; p. 23 in Klein)
See A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm, To My Lord ***** (London: J. Morphew, 1708). <Link to ESTC><Link to Google Books>
See also "A Letter Concerning Enthusiasm" in Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. In Three Volumes. (London: John Darby, 1711). <Link to ESTC>
Some text drawn from EEBO and ECCO, most from Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury. Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence E. Klein (Cambridge: CUP, 2001). Klein's text is based on the British Library's copy of the second edition of 1714. [Texts to be collated.]