Thomas Paine`s “Common Sense”

Table of Content

The English people were a Christian people who knew the word of God, Thomas Paine was clearly very familiar with the scriptures himself his writing is proof of that. Paine used biblical references and familiar stories from the Bible to make his point that all men are equal in the eyes of God, so therefore, there is no such thing as divine rule. He knew the English people who were Christian, would never believe in divine right.

In “Common Sense” Paine states that there are two types of distinctions between people. The natural distinctions are male and female. The heavenly distinction is good and bad. The distinction of kings and subjects is not a true distinction, it’s a distinction made up by men. He highlights the fact that as documented in the bible, the first stories of kings that are discussed are kings brought to the world by the heathens, not God. Paine tells the story of Gideon. After Gideons victory against the Midianites, the Jewish people wanted to make Gideon their kin. Gideon turned down their offer, he told them he wouldn’t rule over them only the Lord would rule over them. Paine basically says that the message is very clear; there is only one King and that’s God. He goes on to tell the story of Samuel, who was a judge.

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When Samuel got older the people of Israel told him they wanted a king. Samuel wasn’t happy because he knew there was only one true king and that he didn’t have the power to do what they wanted, and he didn’t agree with what they wanted. Samuel prayed, and God wanted Samuel to warn the people and explain the bad things that would happen under this new king’s rule. They wouldn’t listen to Samuel and still insisted on having a king, so Samuel told them that he would ask God to bring storms. Bad weather at that time of year would have been bad for the people because it was during the harvest. Samuel asked God for thunder and rain that day, and the God delivered. This made the people fear the Lord and realize they had sinned by asking for a king to rule them. These stories from the Bible really drive home the point that not very much good has been documented in history in terms of divine right. There was much more evidence to support the negative aspects.

Thomas Paine knew that the English people believed in and feared the Lord. He knew the English people read and studied the word of God. For those reasons it would only be a matter of common sense that they would know that there is only one King and that’s God. No man can make someone king and God would never make someone King. We can see by the story of Solomon that God punished the people just for asking for a king. He used all of the biblical references and well-known stories from the Bible to prove his point that divine right was false and man-made.

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Thomas Paine`s “Common Sense”. (2021, Aug 31). Retrieved from

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