Thomas Paine and Character

Thomas Paine had a great influence in the hearts of early Americans, especially the soldiers serving under General George Washington. George expected obedience and loyalty from his troops. He wanted them to quit the use of foul language, to show respect to others, and to do their duty. The soldiers grew to love their leader.

Thomas Paine wrote a couple of highly touted booklets that raised the spirits of the colonists, especially Washington’s troops, who would soon fight the battle of Trenton.

Paine said: “A thing moderately good, is not as good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a good thing, but moderation in principle is always a vice.”

Washington agreed and asked for good character along with bravery. He often turned to scripture and prayer. Like C.S. Lewis, George could have said it this way: “Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you.’” (“Mere Christianity”, 1969. Pg. 163).

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