S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Fanaticism, as far as we are at present concerned with it, may be defined, Such an overwhelming impression of the ideas relating to the future world as disqualifies for the duties of life. From the very nature of fanaticism, it is an evil of short duration. As it implies an irregular movement or an inflamed state of the passions, when these return to their natural state it subsides. Nothing that is violent will last long. The vicissitudes of the world and the business of life are admirably adapted to abate the excesses of religious enthusiasm. In a state where there are such incessant calls to activity, where want presses, desire allures, and ambition inflames, there is little room to dread an excessive attention to the objects of an invisible futurity.
A fanatic, either religious or political, is the subject of strong delusions; while the term illusion is applied solely to the visions of an uncontrolled imagination, the chimerical ideas of one blinded by hope, passion, or credulity, or, lastly, to spectral and other ocular deceptions, to which the word delusion is never applied.