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Perry Miller(1948), from Jonathan Edwards on the Sense of the Heart:

Edwards's problem then became to make words capable not of evoking the idea itself, but of inciting a full awareness of the idea previously given through experience. Without awareness there could be no regeneration. The regenerate state thus becomes one with that living, pulsating state in which a word is vividly, fully identified with its sensation. As life is lived from day to day, the name imperceptibly takes the place of the sensation, and ultimately becomes the only object for the idea. By then the idea becomes a decaying phantasm and only verbal knowledge remains. To our horror we realize that we are lost among signs, none of which any longer have reality.

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susanstinson

May 2009

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