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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

His Crime

His Crime,

and for this the world shut the door in his face, and emptied its slops upon him from the windows.

I challenge the world to show that Thomas Paine ever wrote one line—one word—in favour of tyranny, in favour of immorality; one word against what he believed to be for the highest and best interest of mankind; one line—one word—against justice, charity, or liberty; and yet he has been pursued as though he had been a fiend from hell. His memory has been execrated as though he had murdered some Uriah for his wife, driven some Hagar into the desert to starve with his child upon her bosom, defiled his own daughters, ripped open with the sword the sweet bodies of loving and innocent women, advised one brother to assassinate another, kept a harem with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, or had persecuted Christians even unto strange cities.

The Church has pursued Paine to deter others. The Church used painting, music, and architecture simply to degrade mankind. But there are men that nothing can awe. There have been at all times brave spirits that dared even the gods. Some proud head has always been above the waves. Old Diogenes, with his mantle upon him, stiff and trembling with age, caught a small animal bred upon people, went into the Pantheon, the temple of the gods, and took the animal upon his thumbnail, and, pressing it with the other, he "sacrificed Diogenes to all the gods!" Just as good as anything. In every age some Diogenes has sacrificed to all the gods. True genius never cowers, and there is always some Samson feeling for the pillars of authority.

Cathedrals and domes, and chimes and chants; temples frescoed, and groined, and carved, and gilded with gold; altars, and tapers, and paintings of virgin and babe; censer and chalice; chasuble, paten, and alb; organs, and anthems, and incense rising to the winged and blest; maniple, amice, and stole; crosses and crosiers; tiaras and crowns; mitres, and missals, and masses; rosaries, relics, and robes; martyrs, and saints, and windows stained as with the blood of Christ—never, never for one moment awed the brave, proud spirit of the infidel. He knew that all the pomp and glitter had been purchased with liberty—that priceless jewel of the soul. In looking at the cathedral he remembered the dungeon. The music of the organ was not loud enough to drown the clank of fetters. He could not forget that the taper had lighted the fagot. He knew that the cross adorned the hilt of the sword; and so,