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Differences, just a nuisance? Print E-mail
By John Henry Newman   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012

Christianity is faith, faith implies a doctrine; a doctrine propositions; propositions yes or no, yes or no differences. Differences, then, are the natural attendants on Christianity, and you cannot have Christianity, and not have differences. When, then, Sir Robert Peel calls such differences points of “party feeling,” what is this but to insult Christianity? Yet so cautious, so correct a man, cannot have made such a sacrifice for nothing; nor does he long leave us in doubt what is his inducement. He tells us that his great aim is the peace and good order of the community, and the easy working of the national machine. With this in view, any price is cheap, everything is marketable; all impediments are a nuisance. He does not undo for undoing’s sake; he gains more than an equivalent. It is a mistake, too, to say that he considers all differences of opinion as equal in importance; no, they are only equally in the way. He only compares them together where they are comparable, — in their common inconvenience to a minister of State. They may be as little homogeneous as chalk is to cheese, or Macedon to Monmouth, but they agree in interfering with social harmony; and, since that harmony is the first of goods and the end of life, what is left us but to discard all that disunites us, and to cultivate all that may amalgamate?

 

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