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and obtained, a recompense for his services, as is stated in the above account of his life.—The following letter will put his disinterestedness in a very clear point of view, .and may, perhaps, serve to remove the film from the eyes of some of those, who are apt to place too much confidence in the professions of our disinterested patriots.
"I don't know any thing these many years, "that surprised, and hurt me more, than the senti.'" ments you published in the Courtly Herald, the "12th December, signed John King, Egham "Lodge. You have gone back from all you ever
"said.- You used to complain of abuses as
"well as me, and wrote your opinions on them in ". free terms. What then means this sudden at"tachment to Kings f This fondness of the English "Government and hatred of the French ?—If you "mean to curry favour, by aiding your govern"menr, you are mistaken; they never recompense "those who serve it; they buy off those who can. "annoy it, and let the good that is rendered it, be "its own reward. Believe me, King, more is to "be obtained by cherishing the rising spirit of the "people, than by subduing it. Follow my fortunes, "and I will be answerable, that you shall make your "own.
"THO. PAINE." "Paris, January &, 1793."
This letter ought to be stuck upon every wall and every post in the United States, and in every other country where the voice of the people is of any consequence. It is the creed, the multum in parvo, of all the pretended patriots that ever. infested the
earth. It is all in all; it is conclusive, and requires neither colouring nor commentary.
After the death of the king of France, there was a long struggle between the faction of Brissot, to -which Tom had attached himself, and that of Danton, Robespierre and Marat. The last named murderer was dispatched by a murderess of Brissot's faction, lifter which her abettors were all guillotined, imprisoned, or proscribed. Thomas saved his life by countenancing the degradation of the Christian religion, in his "Age of Reason."
When Danton was solicited to spare him on account of his talents as a writer in the cause of liberty, "tu ne vois pas done, f— bere," replied he to the solicitor, " que nous n'avons plus besoin de "pareils fanatiques."* Cut-throat Danton was right enough; indeed they no longer stood in need of a fanatical writer in the cause of liberty, when they had made it a crime for men to weep.
Danton made a calculation of Tom's head and talents, just as a farmer makes a calculation of the labour, carcass, hide and orFal of a bullock; and he found that he would fetch more living than dead. By writing against religion, he might do his cause some service, and there was little or no danger to be apprehended from him; because, being an Englishman, it was only giving him that name, and he could any time have him killed and dressed, a 7a mode de Paris, at five minutes warning.
Horrid as Paine's attack on revealed religion must appear to every one untainted with deism or atheism, the base assailant is not seen in his true colours, in his blackest hue, till the opinions in his "Age "of Reason" are compared with the hypocritical
* " You do not perceive then, you simpleton, that we no "longer want fanatics of that sort."
casting canting professions of respect for "the /ForJ 0/ "GW," contained in some of his former writings. In his Common Sense, calling on the people to separate themselves from the government that had discarded him, he says it is "a form of government "that the word of God bears testimony against;" and in another part of the same work, proposing the promulgation of a new charter, he says: "that "we may not appear to be defective even in earthly "honours, let a day be solemnly set apart for pro"claiming the charter; let it be brought forth "placed on the divine law, the word of God"
5| In another place he spends whole pages in endeavouring to persuade his readers that monarchy is dis
& approved of by God, and he brings his proofs from Holy Writ, concluding with these words. "These "portions of the Holy Scriptures are direct and po"sitive. They admit of no equivocal construclion."
In one parr of the same writings he complains
of the "impiety" of the Tories, and in another of "the unchristian peevishness of the Quakers." He calls upon the people to turn out in the name of God. "Say not," adds he, "that thousands are w gone out, turn out your tens of thousands; throw "not the burthen of the day upon Providence, but "show your faith by your works" that God may "bless you."
"We claim" (says he again, keeping up the
"cant) we claim brotherhood with every European "christian, and glory in the generosity of the (c sentiment."—Generous and sentimental rascal! Whom do you claim brotherhood with now? Who will admit as a brother, the wretch, who, at one time calls the Scriptures the word of God, and .. quotes them as an infallible guide, and at another,
-*, ridicules them as a series of fictions, contrived ?• 'jl' by artful priests to amuse, delude, and cheat man* t> kind?
From Paine's Common Sense and his Age of Reason we may perceive how his opinion differed concerning the Americans at the two epochs of his writing. When he wrote the former, he looked upon them as a conscientious and pious people; but when he wrote the latter, he certainly looked upon them in the opposite light, or he never would have ventured to address the work to them. The fact is, he had altered his opinion of them upon the strengthof what he saw in the greatest part of the public papers. After seeing a minister of the gospel abused, for having boldly asserted the truth of its doctrines, in opposition to the horrid decrees of the French Convention; after having seen the name of Jes7is Christ placed in a list of famous Democrats, along with the names of Paine and Marat, it was no wonder if he thought that his manual of blasphemy would be an acceptable present to his " be"loved Americans."
Indeed, there is but too much reason to fear, that the Age of Reason being translated into English, apparently for the sole purpose of being published here, its being dedicated to the citizens of the United States, together with the uncommon pains that have been taken to propagate it and the abuse that has been heaped upon all those who have attempted to counteract its effects, will do but little credit to the national character," in the opinions of those foreigners who are not well acquainted with it. Every effort should, therefore, be exerted to convince the world, that all men of sense and worth in America agree in their abhorrence of the work and its malignant author. From this persuasion it was, that I inserted in the Political Censor for May, an extract from Judge Rush's piolis address to the grand jury at Reading, and thax I now honour the present Censor with an extract from Mr. Swift's System tern of Laws of Connecticut-, a work that every
one should read, and that every one who reads, must
"To prohibit" (says this learned and elegant
writer) "To prohibit the open, public, and explicit denial of the popular religion of a country, is a necessary measure to preserve the tranquillity of a government. Of this no person in a christian country can complain; for, admitting him to bean infidel, he must acknowledge, that no benefit can be derived from the subversion of a religion which enforces the best system of morality, and inculcates the divine doctrine of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. In this view of the subject, we cannot sufficiently reprobate the baseness of Thomas Paine, in his attack on Christianity, by publishing his Age of Reason. While experiencing in aprison, the fruits of his visionary theories of government^ he undertakes to disturb the world by his religious opinions. He has the impudence and effrontery to address to the citizens of the United States of America, a paltry performance, which is intended to shake their faith in the religion of their fathers; a religion, which, while it inculcates the practice of moral virtue, contributes to smooth the thorny road of this life, by opening the prospect of a future and better: and all this he does, not to make them happier, or to introduce a better religion, but to embitter their days by the cheerless and dreary visions of unbelief. No language can describe the wickedness of the man, who will attempt to subvert a religion which is a source of comfort and consolation to its votaries, merely for the sake of eradicating all sentiments of religion."