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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 # This fondness of the English “ Government and hatred of the French —If you “ mean to curry favour, by aiding your govern“ ment, 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 ** ozon.” -
“ THO. PAINE.” “Paris, January 3, 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 mullum in parvo, of all the pretended patriots that ever, infested the - - earth,
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, after 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 donc, f-bête,” replied he to the solicitor, “que nous n’avons plus besoin de “pareils fanatidues.”* 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 offal 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 la 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."
canting professions of respect for “the Word of
“ christian, and glory in the generosity of the
“ sentiment.”—Generous and sentimental rascal Whom do you claim brotherhood with now 2 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 fićtions, contrived by artful priests to amuse, delude, and cheat mankind o
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 fast is, he had altered his opinion of them upon the strength. of 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 Jesus 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 counteračt its effects, will do but little credit to the national charaćter, 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 pious address to the grand jury at Reading, and that I now honour the present Censor with an extract from Mr. Swift's Sys
tem of Laws of Connecticut, a work that every
e should read, and that every one who reads must In 1 re.
“To prohibit” (says this learned and elegant iter) “To prohibit the open, public, and explicit denial of the popular religion of a country, is a necessary measure to preserve the tranquility of a government. Of this no person in a christian eountry can complain ; for, admitting him to be an 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 doćtrine of doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. In this view of the subječt, we cannot sufficiently reprobate the baseness of Thomas Paine, in his attack on christianity, by publishing his Age of Reason. While experiencing in a prison, 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 prospećt 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.”