By Paine (1795). The work was written in Paris at the height of the Terror. In it Paine attacks Christianity and the Bible: the Old Testament consists of ‘obscene stories and voluptuous debaucheries’, whereas the New is inconsistent, and the account of the Virgin Birth, for example (a passage that was found particularly shocking), merely ‘hearsay upon hearsay’. He concludes with a plea for religious tolerance. The work was widely attacked as blasphemous and scurrilous.
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Thomas Paine (1737—1809) author and revolutionary