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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Devil

By Daniel Defoe (1661?–1731)

From ‘The True-Born Englishman’

WHEREVER God erects a house of prayer,

The Devil always builds a chapel there;

And ’twill be found upon examination,

The latter has the largest congregation.

For ever since he first debauched the mind,

He made a perfect conquest of mankind.

With uniformity of service, he

Reigns with general aristocracy.

No non-conforming sects disturb his reign,

For of his yoke there’s very few complain.

He knows the genius and the inclination,

And matches proper sins for every nation.

He needs no standing army government;

He always rules us by our own consent;

His laws are easy, and his gentle sway

Makes it exceeding pleasant to obey.

The list of his vicegerents and commanders

Outdoes your Cæsars or your Alexanders.

They never fail of his infernal aid,

And he’s as certain ne’er to be betrayed.

Through all the world they spread his vast command,

And death’s eternal empire is maintained.

They rule so politicly and so well,

As if they were Lords Justices of hell;

Duly divided to debauch mankind,

And plant infernal dictates in his mind.