AUTHOR'S Manuscript Poems.
Reasonable Conjectures upon the Motives, which induced Thomas Paine to write that little Book, called the Age of Rea|son.
IN the frequent interviews I had with this celebrated republican apos|tle, I never heard him express the least doubt of, or cast the smallest reflection upon revealed religion. He spake of the glowing expressions of the Jewish prophets with fervour; and had quoted liberally from the scriptures, in his Com|mon Page 183 Sense. How he came to write that unreasonable little pamphlet, called the Age of Reason, I am at a loss to conjec|ture. The probable opinion attributes it to his passion for paradox; that this small morsel of infidelity was offered as a sacri|fice to save his life from the devouring cruelty of Roberspierre, that Moloch of the French nation. It probably had its desired effect; for annihilating reveal|ed religion could not but afford a diabol|ical pleasure, to that ferocious wretch and his inhuman associates, who could not ex|pect a sanction for their cruelties, while the least vestige of any thing sacred remained among men.
When the reign of the terrorists ceas|ed, an apology was expected; and, even by the pious, yet catholic American, would have been received. To the of|fended religion of his country no propi|tiatory sacrifice was made. This mission|ary of vice has proceeded proselyting. Page 184 He has added second parts, and made other, and audacious adjuncts to deism. No might nor greatness escapes him. He has vilified a great prophet, the sa|viour of the Gentiles; he has railed at Washington, a saviour of his country. A tasteful, though irreligious scholar might tolerate a chastised scepticism, if exhibit|ed by an acute Hume, or an eloquent Boling broke. But one cannot repress the irritability of the fiery Hotspur, when one beholds the pillars of morality shaken by the rude shock of this modern vandal. The reader should learn, that his paltry system is only an *outrage of wine; and that it is in the ale house, he most vigor|ously assaults the authority of the proph|ets, Page 185 and laughs most loudly at the gospel, when in his cups.
I have perserved an epigram of Peter Pin|dar's, written, originally, in a blank leaf of a copy of Paine's Age of Reason, and not inserted in any of his works.