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11,028 Writers and accountants, about one-half of whom are in Government employ.

127 Vagrants.

826 Tavern-keepers.

5,227 Liquor sellers, distillers, and palm-wine drawers.

The small number of vagrants shows, as already stated, that there is comparatively little poverty in the community; but what of the 417 bakers as against 6053 purveyors of drink? "Oh monstrous! but one halfpenny worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack!"

If we are to judge from these statistics, the Parsees would appear to be amongst the wealthiest, the most enlightened, and religious members of Indian society, and if they would only be as considerate towards their neighbours in other religious communities in the matter of drink as they are cautious in their own, they might be reckoned the salt of the earth. No doubt we shall be reminded by some intelligent Parsee that there is no need for us to go abroad in search of illustrations for such a doctrine, and that even the titles of honour which have been conferred upon members of his community in India for services rendered to the cause of morality, are also lavished upon "liquor sellers" and "tavern-keepers" at home. That is unfortunately so; but it is still worthy of consideration with the descendants of an ancient race, themselves highly esteemed and honoured for their intelligence and for their many virtues, whether they could not do something towards removing this great blot from their escutcheon.



Ir is unnecessary that we should enter into particulars concerning the history of the Semitic race as narrated in the Bible, and we shall endeavour to avoid anything like the discussion of Jewish or Christian theological doctrines. There is, however, a controversy concerning the authority of Scripture upon the question of temperance, or rather total abstinence from intoxicating drink, which it is impossible to ignore. Concisely stated, it is this: There are (amongst others) two words used in Scripture to denote the juice of the grape, namely, Tirosh, which is generally supposed to mean "must," or the unfermented juice; and Yayin, or wine. There is also a third word, Schechar or Schecar, which means all strong drink excepting wine.1 Writers on total abstinence maintain that both the Old and New Testament clearly discountenance the use of intoxicating drink, and that when wine is spoken of as being permitted, Tirosh or "must" is meant, whilst there are numerous denunciations of wine proper (Yayin), and of strong

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drink. One of our most learned biblical commentators has said: "We question whether the critics who have adopted these views have not driven their arguments beyond their fair conclusions; "2 and we are bound to say that, after carefully considering the matter, we entirely agree with him. The account which we shall give of the drinking habits of the ancient Hebrews will refute these doctrines, but it will serve to clear the way if we devote a page or two to the preliminary consideration of the subject from the temperance point of view.

One of the writers named refers to a passage in Micah vi. 15, which says, "Thou shalt tread the grapefruit, but shalt not drink wine;" and this he construes to mean that the grape-fruit is a "permitted enjoyment," but that wine is not to be drunk. The reader may judge for himself whether that is the correct interpretation. Micah vi. 13, says to the children of Israel, Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins." Ver. 14 "Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied,""&c. &c. Ver. says, 15 (the one under consideration) says, "Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, (translated grape-fruit by the temperance writer), "but shalt not drink wine."

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If the construction put upon the words "but shalt not drink wine" were the proper one, it would be just as correct to say that the Bible forbids anointing with

1 Scripture Testimony against Intoxicating Wine, by Rev. W. Ritchie, D.D., p. 224, and elsewhere, Houlston & Wright; and "The Basis of Temperance Reform," by Rev. D. Burns, chap. v., Pitman; and "Bacchus Dethroned," by F. Powell, chap. vii. Kempster.

2 Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Art. "Wine."
3 Scripture Testimony against Intoxicating Wine, p. 68.


oil. The fact is, a curse is put upon Israel, and the blessings referred to are to be withheld. The same expressions occur elsewhere, and are similarly misconstrued; as, for example, the writer just referred to quotes Isaiah xxiv. 9, "They shall not drink wine with a song," which he calls a "warning example." And here he has been either very careless, or something less pardonable, for he quotes half a sentence. We will give the context as completely as possible, for we think it will serve to satisfy the reader's mind on the whole question. Ver. 3, "The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word.” Ver. 6, "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate," &c. Ver. 8, "The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth." Ver. 9, "They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it.”

The true interpretation of the text seems to us to be that the enjoyments which the Hebrews believed to be permitted to them, music, wine, and strong drink, were, owing to their disobedience, withheld by Jehovah, or deprived of their enjoyable accompaniments. Beyond these two examples of what appears to us misleading in the arguments of our temperance friends, we cannot further trespass upon our space. Nor is such reasoning at all necessary in their cause, for the Old and New Testaments both contain ample testimony of an incontrovertible character in favour of temperance, nay, even in encouragement of total abstinence.

The reader who is completely unprejudiced will find, 1 Scripture Testimony against Intoxicating Wine, p. 65.

on investigating the ancient writings, that very similar views were entertained by the Hebrews in regard to wine and other intoxicating drinks as were held by other Oriental races. Just as did the Brahmans and Vedic people, so the Jews burned wine upon the altar, believing it to be gratifying to Jehovah; and we find in the Old Testament examples of anthropomorphism almost as gross as that in the Vedas.1 The drinking of wine, too, was one of the most important features in their celebration of their festivals,2 and the esteem in which it was held by the Rabbins is proved by the fact that they instituted a special form of grace to be recited before drinking it, whereas a general formula is presented for use before partaking of any other liquor; 3 and the songs in the Temple were, according to the Talmud, sung only over wine. That the wine employed was strong there can be little doubt, for it was found necessary to mix it with water for ceremonial purposes, the proportions used being three of water to one of wine.5 As in the days of the reformed Brahmans, and always with the followers of Zoroaster, the priests were forbidden to take wine or strong drink before performing their duties in the Tabernacle, and the Nazarite was to abstain entirely during his probation. "He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong

1 Exod. xxix. 40, 41; Lev. xxiii. 13; Judges ix. 12, 13: "Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?"

2 The Talmud, by H. Polano, pp. 349, 355. F. Warne.

3 The Mishna, De Sola and Raphael, pp. 7-9. The author has to thank the Rev. M. Joseph of Liverpool for some of these references.

4 Babylonian Talmud, Treatise Berachot, fol. 35 a. 5 The Mishna, De Sola and Raphael, p. 48.

6 Lev. x. 9.

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