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Religion And Trade
by [?]

“Sir Robert Peel believed it was necessary to originate all
respecting religion and trade in a Committee of the House.”
Church Extension, May 22, 1830.

Say, who was the wag, indecorously witty,
Who first in a statute this libel conveyed;
And thus slyly referred to the selfsame committee,
As matters congenial, Religion and Trade?

Oh surely, my Phillpotts, ’twas thou didst the deed;
For none but thyself or some pluralist brother,
Accustomed to mix up the craft with the creed,
Could bring such a pair thus to twin with each other.

And yet, when one thinks of times present and gone,
One is forced to confess on maturer reflection
That ’tisn’t in the eyes of committees alone
That the shrine and the shop seem to have some connection.

Not to mention those monarchs of Asia’s fair land,
Whose civil list all is in “god-money” paid;
And where the whole people, by royal command,
Buy their gods at the government mart, ready made;[1]–

There was also (as mentioned, in rhyme and in prose, is)
Gold heaped throughout Egypt on every shrine,
To make rings for right reverend crocodiles’ noses–
Just such as, my Phillpotts, would look well in thine.

But one needn’t fly off in this erudite mood;
And ’tis clear without going to regions so sunny
That priests love to do the least possible good
For the largest most possible quantum of money.

“Of him,” saith the text, “unto whom much is given,
“Of him much, in turn, will be also required:”–
“By me,” quoth the sleek and obese man of heaven–
“Give as much as you will–more will still be desired.”

More money! more churches!–oh Nimrod, hadst thou
‘Stead of Tower-extension, some shorter way gone–
Hadst thou known by what methods we mount to heaven now,
And tried Church-extension, the feat had been done!

[1] The Birmans may not buy the sacred marble in mass but must purchase figures of the deity already made.–SYMES.