In 1798 the first part of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason was put into his hands; and in the following year he made his first appearance as an author by publishing his Remarks on that work.
At the same time, the repression of idealism and sentiment during the period of " illumination " was amply revenged, and the barren age of reason gave place to Romanticism.
The Age of Reason can now be estimated calmly.
In 1802 Paine sailed for America, but while his services in behalf of the colonies were gratefully remembered, his Age of Reason and his attack on Washington had alienated many of his friends.
Emerson refused, in a kind and characteristic letter, to join the undertaking, and though he afterwards wrote of Brook Farm with not uncharitable humour as "a perpetual picnic, a French Revolution in small, an age of reason in a patty-pan," among its founders were many of his near friends.