Historical Reprints Philosophical Age of Reason and Bonus Essays

Age of Reason and Bonus Essays

Age of Reason and Bonus Essays
Catalog # SKU0966
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.70 lbs
Author Name Thomas Paine


Age of Reason

with Bonus Essays & Writings

by Thomas Paine

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."
Thomas Jefferson

The Age of Reason is a philosophical treatise written by the 18th Century American philosopher and patriot Thomas Paine, best remembered as the author of the political pamphlet Common Sense, credited with exciting colonial opinion in support of the American Revolutionary War.

The Age of Reason treatise, written in parts during the 1790s and dealing in a systematic examination of organized religion, advocates a skeptical and rational materialistic examination of religion known as Deism. Paine stresses his belief in "one god", or, the "Word of God" as exemplified by nature and the exercise of Reason. Thus, he necessarily rejects most of the tenets of both the Old Testament and New Testament. As he stresses: "I detest it [the Bible] as I detest everything that is cruel."

Paine began the work while in France in 1793. As Paine was in jail for protesting the execution of Louis XVI, this first section was published in a French translation. After his release from prison, at the urging of James Monroe, Paine wrote the second part.

Included in this book Age of Reason
Bonus Essays by Thomas Paine

Essay On Dreams
Examination of the Prophecies
Existence Of God
Worship And Church Bells
Origin of Free Masonry


I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

But, lest it should be supposed that I believe many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society.

When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and, in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive anything more destructive to morality than this?

Soon after I had published the pamphlet COMMON SENSE, in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion. The adulterous connection of church and state, wherever it had taken place, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, had so effectually prohibited, by pains and penalties, every discussion upon established creeds, and upon first principles of religion, that until the system of government should be changed, those subjects could not be brought fairly and openly before the world; but that whenever this should be done, a revolution in the system of religion would follow. Human inventions and priest-craft would be detected; and man would return to the pure, unmixed, and unadulterated belief of one God, and no more.

Paperback, 5 x 8, 320+ pages

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