« VorigeDoorgaan »
with his eyes open! Against this gratuitous calumny we take leave to defend the Patriarch : we do not believe he got drunk 'deliberately'--nor in the logical force of Mr. Sims's dogmatic 'must. But what are his reasons ?
Violence and 'eating and drinking' reigned before the flood.
Therefore Noah knew all about fermented wine !!! What logic! Unfortunately for the first premiss, 'violence' is found even ainongst savages who never drink alcoholic wine; and, alas ! has too much connection with historic human nature itself to be always ascribed to either eating flesh or drinking fiery wine. Moreover, even Abstainers from Wine—as the Brahmins, the Mohamedans, and the Mad Malays' ~may increase 'natural' violence by eating-either by 'riotous eating of flesh' or by opium eating, etc. Unfortunately also for the second premiss, from the time of Adam in the Paradise which is lost, to the time of Peace in Paradise to be regained, there have been, and, as the Prophet intimates, there will be, men sensible enough to ‘Plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof.' Mr. Sims seems to think with a certain Indian, who, after hearing the story of the Fall of our first Parents from eating an apple, gravely replied,
Sarved 'em right—they should hab made cyder of 'em.” In the abstract, it is just as likely that Noah was the first who thought of expressing-grape-juice for drink, as that anybody else was before him—while many reasons peculiarly favor the ancient Tradition that the discovery of the art of expressing wine did originate with him. b 2. The Case of Lot. Mr. Sims says Lot kept a deadly mocker' in his house, and was
'a drunk for two successive days—and then ascribes the statement to Mr. Inwards! We wonder what Mr. Sims thinks Lot did keep in his dwelling? Was it alcoholic wine? If so, had not Solomon (long before Mr. Inwards) affirmed of it--Wine is a mocker'? Our Biblist is really kicking against his favorite Scripture-if not his favorite text. Or, to toss him upon the other horn of his dilemma, how does he excuse the Patriarch of a deliberate debauch? Oh! “ Using a lawful drink, he was tempted to over indulgence.” Well, but what is this save the fact,—the issue,-confirming Solomon's declaration-Wine is a mocker-and he who is deceived thereby is not wise? The error of Mr. Sims consists in asserting that it is ‘lawful' merely because it was allowed.' If so, Slavery, Polygamy, Concubinage, etc., are also 'lawful'--for Mr. Sims’s ‘model' Patriarchs most certainly practised them!
Mr. Sims's theory, however, does not suit the text, which in no way indicates that Lot drank long and deliberately, —
:-or of his own desire. His danghters gave him wine-and if they had continued to press him to drink an inordinate quantity, surely he must havere proved, or denied them. But suppose that they were acquainted with a practice which prevailed from the remotest antiquity in the East amongst the wicked sensualists, and one clearly referred to in the Bible,—that of drugging wine,—and all becomes intelligible. The utter state of unconsciousness produced by the use of such drugs as the eastern benj or hashish, exactly fits the representation and several of the ancient Rabbins have indeed so explained
b To show that, whether our criticisms are true or no, they are at least not particularly new-we shall add a few curious extracts by way of Notes :
“DIODORUS saith that Dionisius dyd first perceyue the nature of vyne, and taught men of Grece to plant it, and TO PRESSE WYNE OUTE OF THE GRAPE, as Saturnus did in Italye.” (An Abridgemēt of the notable worke of Polidore Virgile. By Thomas Langley. Lond. 1546. The iii booke. Fol. lxvi. The ii chapiter.)
DR. MAYER (Commentary, vol. i. p. 138. Lond. 1643), referring to the Ancient Expositors, says:
For the sake of argument, however, grant all that Mr. Sims so uncritically assumes – what then? There is no Divine sanction—but simply a warning-connected with these historic instances. C
3. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.'—(Gen. xlix. 12.) None other than fermented wine can be referred to here, says Mr. Sims, for ‘redness of eyes’ is said in the Proverbs to belong to the drunkard. Happy Judah! (continues he, ironically) thine eyes shall be red with a 'fiery curse ?!! Mr. Sims understands the true bearing of our theory as little as his own. * fermented wine’ is referred to, because the predicted effect is that of blood-shot-eyesthe mark' of drunkenness! Is 'inflammation' then not an evil, and its causeinflaming wine'-not a curse? Is drunkenness--of which, he says, we have here the predicted symbol-really a ' blessing '? Mr. Sims does not comprehend how a man may prove sadly too much--tho he very plainly illustrates the absurdity in his practice.
Our theory, however, allows no such absurdity as that of making a Patriarch bless his child by predicting, either that "his wrists shall be red with handcuffs,” or “his eyes inflamed with drunkenness.” Even if 'fermented wine' (Wine No. 2) were referred to in v. 12, yet in v. 11, unfermented wine is clearly spoken of (Wine No. 1)-since nobody washes his garments’ in port or sherry, or stains his 'clothes' in any other wine than the blood of the grape '—
-a wine which never yet contained one atom of alcohol. If, then, verse 11 be a prediction of the blessing of a plenteous vintage, verse 12, if rightly translated, can only be a prophecy of the abuse to which the natural wine would be put by its conversion into an inflaming or 'fiery curse’-an instrument of intoxication and debauchery.
But, as we have proved at length elsewhere, the Hebrew particle translated with, is not always causative, but also comparative. Hence the translation of the most ancient Rabbins, of Castellus and others, is to be preferred— His eyes are red as wine, his teeth white as milk'-language paralleled by another Prophet in speaking of the teetotal Nazarites. The Septuagint reads—His eyes shall be more cheering than wine-And his teeth whiter than milk.' How anybody, indeed, could dream that white milk was a special cause of white teeth, is to us incomprehensible. The connection is clearly one of comparison merely, denoting health and plenty, not the incongruous conjunction of milk-drinking and inebriety. It is curious in the extreme, to suppose, that while the wine was inflaming the blood-vessels of the eye, the milk was healthily depositing the enamel of the teeth! One fancies, that what was disturbing the upper part of the head, would scarcely leave the lower quite normal.
4. The Cases of the Priests (Lev. x. 9) and Nazarites (Num. vi, 1-3). The Priests,
“Hear one for all, Theodoret, quæst. 65. The drunkenness of Noah, saith he, came from inexperience. For being the first that pressed grapes, he was ignorant [of the chemical change effected by fermentation, and consequently] not onlye how much was to be drunke, but how, viz., mingled with water. He being always used for 600 years to drinke water, might easily erre, supposing that he might drinke as much wine as he had used to drink of water, and the want of using wine before made him the more apt to be wrought upon with the fumes thereof."
c Dr. MAYER (Comment. p. 212) observes
“But whilst the Daughters sinned in giving him wine unto Drunkenness, what is to be thought of him for drinking so liberally thereof? Some conjecture that it was mingled with something apt to make him drunken, altho he took but a little, and so excuse him.Lastly, he is suffered to fall by Drunkenness, not only once but the second
that we might know how dangerous it is to be once overcome by intemperance or any vice, for it will not so leave us, but having gotten the victory, assaile us againe and againe.”
says Mr. Sims, were to abstain from STRONG-drink when they went into the Tabernacleand the Nazarites, when they vowed a vow, were to abstain from wine and STRONG-drink, and not to Eat any liquor of grapes.'
Mr. Sims thinks that teetotal-wine, or juice, should only be called 'liquor of grapes,' and that it is distinct from 'wine-proper.'d We think differently, and so did the ancients, who had eatable as well as drinkable preparations of grape-juice-in other words, grape juice made into various kinds of wine, jellies, and preserves. Now, from all these the Nazarites equally abstained !-while we, with our better chemical knowlege, of course do not—which Christ did not-but only from the 'fermented' or 'drugged' preparations. Says Mr. Sims
“Moses would have been amazed had it been said, 'Do not commit blasphemy, adultery, or robbery, when ye go into the tabernacle'—but this would not be more strange than the ultra's version—'Do not drink that wine which is a mocker, etc., when ye go into the tabernacle!' By the same il-logic, Aaron must have worn the holy coat' wherever he went."
The amazement of Moses in the supposed-case would have arisen from his previous knowlege of the law of virtue,—that robbery, etc. was at all times wrong. What then ? Did Moses and the Patriarchs know all the moral, social, and physical laws ? Were not many things suffered for the hardness of their hearts, in the days of ignorance, which are yet essentially wrong? The Patriarchs held slaves in bondage, and indulged in Polygamy, Concubinage, and in what is now called 'fornication' with their wives' handmaids ;-perhaps they would have been also amazed' (as their descendants were, in our Lord's days) if the doctrine of total abstinence from these things also had been preached. What then, Mr. Sims ? Without quibble or evasion, o logician! were these things right? Credat Judæus, says Mr, Sims; we answer, truc Christians and honest Men, ought not to believe it! Away then, with this base attempt to lower the divine of Human Progress and Christian Perfectness to the level of Jewish Sensualism and Patriarchal Savagedom! This is not to use, but abuse, Scripture.
We never heard of any one inferring from the law of Leviticus, either (hat Aaron wore his Priest's robe at bed or board, or that his children abstained at all times from wine. This il-logic, therefore, is entirely of Simsian fabrication.
5. 'Thou shalt bestow thy money for WHATSOEVER THY SOUL LUSTETH AFTER—for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for STRONG-drink.'-(Deut. xiv. 26.)
This text, if accepted without limitation, proves too much, since it would equally sanction the object of any sensuality in eating or drinking-and if, after the words 'whatsoever,' be understood, 'good-thing, or before 'lusteth' 'properly,' it leaves the matter untouched ; Secondly, we deny that there was any special revelation about this question of
This fallacy of inferring the historic and universal sense of a Word, from its modern and technical limitations, is best met by inducting contrary facts. As one out of hundreds, take the following citations from Wilson's Christian Dictionary (4to. 1611), dedicated to the Bishops of Carlisle and Worcester, etc.
“WINE] the fruit of the vine, or the juyce of the grapes. 1 Tim. 5. 23. Mat. 26. 29. “Sacramentall Wine, or wines materially like natural wine.
Gluttony, or excesse in eating, and drinking. Osee 4. 11.
Given to Wine] One which sitteth by the wine, and is not easily pulled from it. I Tim. 3. 3. Titus 1. 7.
“DRUNKENNESSE? Hesth. 7. 1. This word signifieth to drink large unto mirth, but with sobriety. Hag. 1. 6. John 2. 10.–Plentiful abundance of good things. Ps. 65. 9, 10-i. e. watered it abundantly."
See also, Notes l, f, and h.
drink; and, Thirdly, we affirm, that in this and the preceding texts cited, the word ASTRONG’ is simply an interpolation of the Translators. The one word in the Hebrew text translated by the two words in English, consists of but three characters (73W, ShGhR), which are, in most languages, the root of terms for sugar--being, in fact, as Bishop Lowth long ago said, the word for 'sweet palm-wine,'—the unfermented saccar of the Arabs, and the palm-juice or jaghra of the Hindoos. e Mr. Sims's argument, then, however Simmetrical, is not solid. While he calls teetotal criticism an 'airy erection,' he exposes himself to the rebuke of a learned writer in Blackwood's Magazine, who, in an article on ‘the Philosophy of Herodotus,' thus remarks :
“How often do we hear people commenting on the Scriptures, and raising up aerial edifices of argument, in which every iota of the Logic rests, unconsciously to themselves, upon the accidental words of the English Version, and melts away when applied to the Original text.”
Doubtless, the SheChaR of the Hebrews, like their YaYiN, existed in various states. · Palm Wine, No. 1,' was simply Palm or Date juice , — No. 2,' was the thick or honeylike juice, sometimes boiled ; _No. 3,' was drugged palm wine—'Wo be to those who are mighty to mix shechar '— the strong-drink which is raging ;— No. 4,' was alcoholic and acid, — 'Thy shechar shall become bitter to thy taste'- which Palm-wine always becomes when fermented.
6. “Wine that MAKETH GLAD the heart of man.' (Psalm civ. 15.) Wine only, says Mr. Sims, is said to 'cheer '--'make glad,' etc. Now it so happens that the Prophet Zechariah thus speaks : 'Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and tirosh (translated new wine) the maids.' Who shall we believe in this matter—the Judæan Prophet, or the Manchester Rhymer ? Is corn intoxicating? Or is it “spoken with reference to its future”-meaning Irish whisky? When we read of honey out of the flinty rock'does it signify intoxicating mead or metheglin ? $ If, in the Psalms, the 'wine, oil, and bread,' are to be narrowed down from the clustering vintage.fruit, the fatness of the oliveyards, and the teeming corn-field,— which are literally the FOOD (lehhem) that God bringeth out of the earth,
-on that principle it should have been written in the two lines preceding,
'He causeth hay to grow for cattle,
e MAIMONIDES, (Maasersheni, c. 4, A.D. 1164), and other Rabbins, observe on this text:
"They may not buy with the money salt or water, towards the feast—but honey (W21 which includes palm-honey), eggs, and milk, because they come out of the ground,” i. e. are natural, not brewed or artificial products.
f“These different kinds of syrup,” says Prof. Eadie, are the celebrated Date-wine, which was greatly prized in ancient times by the Orientals.”—(Biblical Cyclopædia, Art. 'Palm-trees.')
“The Date-tree is much esteemed for its juice," says Dr. Kitto, " whether fermented or not, known as Palm-wine." (Cycl. Bib. Lit. Art. “Tamar.')
8 In Candler's Hanti, we observe the following passage :“My wife discovered a guava tree loaded with ripe fruit, and stopped her horse to gather
The fruit was fine and juicy, and both cheered and invigorated us: the effects it produced reminded us of the honey which Jonathan discovered in the wood,” etc.
had been in Scripture, somebody, no doubt, would be ready to convert it into ' poetry' or 'metaphor'-or make it cut some other 'figure'-in order to prove that fermented guava-juice must be meant !
If this pass
The whole passage, however, is a description of natural products--the Key-line being
"The earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.' Wine here denotes grapes, as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. “They gathered wine and summerfruits, and put them into their vessels.’h Cobbin's Portable Commentary (1842) thus reads:
Wine, i. e. the vine which produces it. ' Oil, i. e. the olive tree productive of it.'
Mr. Sims attempts to support his criticism by reference to Deut. viii. 9—'Out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass '-and asks if we ever saw any brass dug out of the earth ? No-nor Moses either. Copper' is the thing intended here, as Dr. Kitto rightly remarks: and in fact, the Hebrew word (n'hhosheth) is a general one, and includes copper. In some texts it is translated 'fetters '-'copper'—ʻchains '- steel. Cobbin says—*read copper.' Gesenius has
N'hhosh_Chaldee, brass, copper. “N'hhosheth—1, chalkos, i. e. copper; 2. brass or copper coin.”' Mr. Sims is therefore raising up one of his favorite ‘ærial edifices ': is, in fact, trying to confirm an absurdity by committing a blunder !
Of Isaiah lxv. 8—The new-wine is found in the cluster '--Sims says—“This is a pet passage with Inwards.” Now, it so happens, that the Hebrew word here is not yayin (wine), but tirosh (grapes)! Micah explains the distinction very plainly- They shall tread tirosh (grapes), but shall not drink yayin (wine).' Mr. Sims classes this IIebrew tirosh (grapes) with a text containing the Greek oinos neos (new wine)! This Greek text, again, with another containing an altogether different word (gleukos)! And finally, this last Greek word is classed with a Hebrew text containing still another word (ausis) !!!
It is not needful that we should reply to such a mass of misleading consusion as this: we simply observe, that two different Greek words, and two different Hebrew words-in all four distinct terms—are, by the critical legerdemain of Mr. Sims, comprest into one package-and exhibited as one thing.
8. Proverbs xxxi. 4-7, says Mr. Sims, should, according to the ultra-teetotal version, be amended thus !—*It is not for Kings to drink poison, lest they forget the law and pervert judgment: Give a curse (shechar] to him that is ready to perish, and a mocker (wine] to him that is of heavy heart.'
It is not here needful to explain our views of these texts; we only observe, that they
In this same sense, CORN, WINE, and oil are clearly employed in Collin's Voyages, (1796 to 1801). Of Piedmont he says:
"In the mountains are mines of gold, silver, and iron,--the rivers abound with fish, the forests and field with game, while the soil yields everything necessary to the enjoyment of human life—abundance of corn, rice, wine, fruits, hemp, and cattle."-p. 80. Describing the Pyrenees, he thus writes :
“Flocks of sheep and goats enliven the hills; manufacturers of wool inhabit the vallies; and corn and vine, flax and oil, Hang on the slopes.”—p. 82.
The Psalmist's meaning, and that of Mr.Collins, is one and the same. If gold, silver, and iron do not mean, knives, spoons, and forks--fish, pickled salmon,-game, roast hare,rice, blanc mange,-fruits, apple jelly and preserved pears,-hemp and flax, whip-cord, ropes, or bed linen,-cattle, roast beef or boiled mutton,-wool, flannel singlets,-neither do the words wine and oil signify fermented and bottled fluids, or the word corn denote fermented-bread or Bath-buns. Without any 'figure' they signify grapes, olives, and grain.