The age of reason - PDF book by Thomas Paine (1880)

The age of reason

The age of reason

The Age of Reason is a very insightful book by Thomas Paine, one of the most influential figures in American history. he criticises the Abrahamic God and offers Spinoza-like impersonal God

Thomas Paine was born on the 29th January 1736, when George II. was King of England and in the heat of quarrel with Frederick Prince of Wales. Thomas Paine died on the 8th June 1809, when King George III. was in full and bitter enmity with George Prince of Wales. In. the seventy- one year that has passed since Paine's death bigotry has been busy with his name. In the twenty years which preceded his death, hundreds of booksellers and newsmen were sent to gaol for selling or being found in possession of his works. 

As a politician, Paine had declared war against kings, and as an unbeliever against churches, and the pulpit united with the throne to defile his memory. Foolish bigots call Thomas Paine an Atheist in truth he was a Deist and one who did not deny a future state of existence. Paine's father was a Quaker and staymaker. After a little stay-making, a little work in the excise, and some teaching, Paine, when about 39 years of age, went to America. He got there in a time of turmoil when the Boston Ports Bill A. had driven Massachusetts wild, and Colonel Washington of Virginia was preparing to raise a regiment to aid the old Bay State. At first, Paine settled in the Quaker City, obtaining literary work in Pennsylvania with Mr Aitkin, a bookseller, but his pen was soon to find more stirring employ. 

The Tory Government of poor mad George III. believed or professed to believe, that with a regiment of the Guards it would be easy to sweep New England. General Gage, who commanded at Boston, was soon undeceived.

 In April 1775, he determined to destroy some colonial military stores in a magazine at Concord, a few miles from the metropolis of Massachusetts. The British regulars in gay uniforms marched out to merry tunes, contempt for the colonists pervading officers and men. But at Lexington Green, these drilled soldiers, hired servants of a bad Government, fired on the local yeomanry, and the fire came back. Each farm sent its " minute " men, each ditch was a rifle pit, each hedge held a skirmisher. King George's troops were checked, the colonists they sneered at drove them back. 

America was awakening; the Lexington skirmish, the shameful march back, now at last a very race for life, and the King's general, Gage, is besieged by the rough farm men who were till now King George's subjects, and even now they hardly dream of being anything else. The militia Colonel, George Washington, had written only a few weeks before as to independence: " I am well satisfied that no such thing is desired by any thinking man in all North America." 

Thomas Paine's pen was now the very mightiest of weapons. He boldly advocated the separation of the united colonies from the mother country. He defied the old monarchy in the name of the new republic. His first trumpet note was in the publication of " Common Sense," which produced an enormous effect on both sides of the Atlantic.

 It said for men in Philadelphia that which men in Boston hoped but dared hardly think; it put in clear defiant words that which some down New Orleans way were as much opposed to as were the representatives of the Court of St. James' itself. Few pamphlets have had an effect like this, it was the reveille sharply sounded to a whole people.

 It stirred the New York traders, roused the steady-going denizens of the city of brotherly love into a quick step along the banks of the Schuylkill; it made the dwellers on the Mississippi feel that in the sterile east and far-off north there was manhood too big to bend the knee longer to crowned lunacy 8,000 miles away. 

What Paine commenced in " Common " he followed up right vigorously, and the 4th July 1776, with its grand Declaration of Independence, was but the mighty flame from the spark which Paine had fanned into a fire. Through the gloomy, the wearying, and often doubtful struggle, 

Thomas Paine cast in his lot with George Washington, hungry sometimes, footsore often, now and again heartsore and almost despairing, but never. quite beaten. And so the revolution went on until the surrender at Yorktown sealed the defeat of the British Government. Paine's services were acknowledged in formal fashion by resolution of the Pennsylvanian Legislature in 1770; by a letter from George Washington in 1783; and by resolution of the Congress of the United States of America in 1785. But Paine's services to liberty have been most thoroughly acknowledged by the undying- and undiminished hostility to his memory shown by the foes of liberty wherever the Anglo-Saxon language is spoken.

the book details :
  • Author: Thomas Paine,
  • Publication date: 1880
  • Company:  London: Freethought

  • Download 17.8 MB

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