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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Hates a Patriot?

Hates a Patriot?

If there is, Thomas Paine ought to be afraid to die. Is there any God that would damn a man for helping to free three millions of people? If Thomas Paine was in hell tonight, and could get God's attention long enough to point him to the old banner of the stars floating over America, God would have to let him out. What would he be afraid of? Had he ever burned anybody? No. Had he put anybody in the inquisition? No. Ever put the thumb-screw on anybody? No. Ever put anybody in prison, so that some poor wife and mother would come and hold her little babe up at the grated window that the man bound to the floor might get one glimpse of his blue-eyed babe? Did he ever do that?

Did he ever light a faggot? Did he ever tear human flesh? Why, what had he to be afraid of? He had helped to make the world free. He had helped create the only republic then on the earth. What was he afraid of? Was God a tory? It won't do.

One would think from the persistence with which the orthodox have charged for the last seventy years that Thomas Paine recanted, that there must be some evidence of some kind to support those charge. Even with my ideas of the average honor of the believers in superstition, the average truthfulness of the disciples of fear, I did not believe that all those infamies rested solely upon poorly-attested alsehoods. I had charity enough to suppose that something had been said or done by Thomas Paine capable of being tortured into a foundation of ail these calumnies. What crime had Thomas Paine committed that he should have feared to die? The only answer you can give is that he denied the inspiration of the Scriptures. If that is crime, the civilised world is filled with criminals. The pioneers of human thought, the intellectual leaders of this world, the foremost men in every science, the kings of literature and art, those who stand in the front of investigation, the men who are civilising and elevating and refining mankind,