Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason - Deism
That the Jews did translate the literary productions of the Gentile nations into the Hebrew language, and mix them with their own, is not a matter of doubt; Proverbs xxxi. i, is an evidence of this: it is there said, The word of king Lemuel, the prophecy which his mother taught him. This verse stands as a preface to the proverbs that follow, and which are not the proverbs of Solomon, but of Lemuel; and this Lemuel was not one of the kings of Israel, nor of Judah, but of some other country, and consequently a Gentile. The Jews however have adopted his proverbs; and as they cannot give any account who the author of the book of Job was, nor how they came by the book, and as it differs in character from the Hebrew writings, and stands totally unconnected with every other book and chapter in the Bible before it and after it, it has all the circumstantial evidence of being originally a book of the Gentiles. [The prayer known by the name of Agur's Prayer, in Proverbs xxx.,--immediately preceding the proverbs of Lemuel, --and which is the only sensible, well-conceived, and well-expressed prayer in the Bible, has much the appearance of being a prayer taken from the Gentiles. The name of Agur occurs on no other occasion than this; and he is introduced, together with the prayer ascribed to him, in the same manner, and nearly in the same words, that Lemuel and his proverbs are introduced in the chapter that follows. The first verse says, "The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: "here the word prophecy is used with the same application it has in the following chapter of Lemuel, unconnected with anything of prediction. The prayer of Agur is in the 8th and 9th verses, "Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither riches nor poverty, but feed me with food convenient for me; lest I be full and deny thee and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." This has not any of the marks of being a Jewish prayer, for the Jews never prayed but when they were in trouble, and never for anything but victory, vengeance, or riches.--Author. (Prov. xxx. 1, and xxxi. 1, the word "prophecy" in these verses is tranrinted "oracle" or "burden" (marg.) in the revised version.--The prayer of Agur was quoted by Paine in his plea for the officers of Excise, 1772. --Editer.]
Thomas Paine: Age of Reason - US History
Thomas Paine's The Age Of Reason: Summary & Philosophy
Paine was held in reverence by those new to the radical cause. This was perhaps best expressed in the song, 'God Save Great Thomas Paine', the alternative national anthem, as it were, of British republicans:
Thomas Paine answers questions about The Age of Reason
God save great Thomas Paine / His 'Rights of Man' explain / To every soul. / He makes the blind to see / What dupes and slaves they be, / And points out liberty, / From pole to pole.