Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.

These things and deeds are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them; they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is–I repeat it–a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them.

The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth–to let the white-washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinise and expose–to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it–to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.

Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë’s male pseudonym), December 21st 1847//Preface to Jane Eyre

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