Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

The British State-Lottery

I shall not here attempt to discuss how far state-lotteries are lawful, or not. But so well does government suit the 'bait' to the ambition or avarice of men—by some financial prizes—that there is always a world of adventurers. And as among them, there may be some well-meaning people—I shall drop a few thoughts for their consideration.

Can we be so happy in the mere expectation of a prize, where we may be readily disappointed; and not exult in the heavenly treasures, which can never deceive us? Can we find such thrills of joy in winning a large prize—which we must leave behind us; and yet our hearts not beat with rapturous joy at the heavenly gift, at the pearl of great price—being eternally our own? If a little of this world places us in such easy circumstances in life—how enriching the treasures of glory!

Let me only desire what the 'bank of bliss' will bestow. Not the trifling riches of this world—but durable riches and righteousness. There is no disappointment here to stab our expectation, and sadden our countenance. No—but a kingdom and a crown, endless bliss, and eternal glory!

The greatest sum I may now acquire, cannot prevent me from becoming a bankrupt. But, my 'celestial stores' can never be spent—they cannot so much as be counted! But a few figures will contain all the sums that were ever lost or gained in every state lottery, in every land. How poor is the richest unbeliever! How rich is the poorest saint!

Earthly things only please an earthly appetite—but the delights of paradise, the bliss of heaven, and the enjoyment of God—feast and ravish forever! None shall be disappointed with heaven—but shall have delights as large as they can wish, and boundless as they can desire!

Here, if a person wins the lottery, it is the most that he can expect. But those who receive of the 'heavenly bounty' shall have every enriching prize—not for the short period of sixty, eighty, or an hundred years—but forever! He shall have pardon of sin, and peace with God! In a word, he shall have heaven, and all the joys of paradise; endless life, and all the glories of eternity; and God and his infinite fullness, world without end!