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The last Hebrew authority whose teachings concerning drink it will be necessary to consider is St. Paul. Whilst deprecating coercion and tolerating the temperate use of drink, he undoubtedly commended total abstinence as an example to those who were unable to control themselves. To Timothy he said, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."1 "A bishop," he remarked, "must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, not greedy of filthy lucre. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre." 2

It is obvious that avarice, gluttony, and drunkenness were then prevalent vices, and, as we shall find when the customs of Rome are under consideration, they had assumed their most glaring and repulsive form in that city. To his co-religionists in Rome, therefore, Paul addressed the most earnest exhortations, enjoining total abstinence as an example. To them he said distinctly, "It is good neither to eat flesh nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." 3 At the same time, as we have said, he deprecated the wholesale condemnation of persons who thought fit to enjoy these luxuries in moderation. "For one," he said, "believeth that he may eat all things; another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him who eateth despise him that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another

1 Tim. v. 23.

21 Tim. iii. 2, 3, 8.

3 Rom. xiv. 21.



man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth." But of drunkenness he spoke in very different terms. "Let us walk honestly," he said to the Roman Christians, "not in rioting and drunkenness;" 2 and elsewhere he ranks drunkards with thieves and extortioners, and even goes so far as to deny them salvation.3

Before concluding this imperfect commentary upon the teachings of the Scriptures concerning drink, as they will naturally possess great interest for English readers, it will be useful to consider briefly their bearing upon the condition of modern society. The expression "gin and gospel" has become a byword in relation to this subject. It originates in the fact that in all ancient faiths the drinking of alcoholic beverages was associated with religious observances and festivals, a custom which is still upheld by a mistaken conservatism. Because the ancient Hebrews, Persians, Brahmans and Chinese believed strong drink to be acceptable offerings to their respective deities, and made such offerings part of their religious ceremonies, it does not follow that in our somewhat more enlightened day the modern Jews, Parsees, and Christians should continue to follow the same practices in a modified form. As a ceremony, the use of drink in connection with religious observances can have but little influence or significance, whilst it is becoming daily more injurious as an example.4

As regards the common use in moderation of certain fermented liquors, it is clear that it never has been, and

1 Rom. xiv. 2-4.

2 Rom. xiii. 13.

31 Cor. vi. 10. The early Christian fathers, to whose teachings concerning drunkenness we shall refer hereafter, found the vice to prevail almost wherever they went as missionaries, in Africa, Gaul, Britain, and elsewhere, and they denounced it in the most vehement terms.

* See the remarks on Inebriate Asylums in our chapter on America.

cannot be to-day, placed in the same category with the excessive consumption of any alcoholic beverage, or the free use of such strong drinks as spirituous liquors; and those temperance reformers who class them together defeat their own aims, which are worthy of the highest commendation. For it will be found, on reviewing the whole question carefully, that it is not the liquors which are consumed with solid food that are the operating causes of national or individual drunkenness. The Frenchman does not get drunk on red wine, nor the German on lager-bier. Absinthe and schnapps are the destructive agents there, just as gin, and not Barclay's stout or Bass's ale, do the business in England. The matter needs careful consideration, not under the influence of passion or fanaticism (the latter often the result of a reaction from over-indulgence), but after a calm investigation of the predisposing causes of intemperance in every age. It is not, however, intended in these remarks to prejudge the whole debated question of " temperance or total abstinence;" that question will be dealt with in the proper place. All we desire to do here is to show the fallacy of attempting to extinguish intemperance by reducing all men to one level, and seeking authority for such a proceeding in Scripture.

Little need be said of the drinking habits of the modern Jews. They are notoriously a sober race both in England and elsewhere, and their temperance is due mainly to two causes. First, they are a small community, and their partial isolation from the other religious denominations has a tendency to make them careful of their morals. The most important reason, however, is that they do not follow any avocations


which necessitate great physical exertions. Thus we seldom find them working as artisans or day-labourers; so that there is no great bodily waste to be repaired; and they are, moreover, removed from the temptations to excessive drinking to which the great mass of our working population is exposed. Amongst Jews of the middle classes there is more intemperance. They mix more freely with Christians, and their long fasts are not unfrequently followed by a degree of self-indulgence which, many will think, deprives some of their old religious observances of any merit that they may possess. As already remarked, however, as a whole the Jews are a sober and exemplary race, whose habits in that respect are well worthy of universal imitation.




THE last branch of the human family, whose history reaches back to the earliest historic period, which will occupy our attention, though it be only for a brief space, is that which inhabited Egypt. Our information concerning the drinking habits of the ancient Egyptians is derived not only from sacred writings, but also from those of the Greek and Roman historians, and it is, moreover, confirmed from an entirely independent source, namely, from the hieroglyphic inscriptions of the ancient monuments of the country which have been preserved to our time.

There was a tradition, which we shall pass over without comment, that Isis or Osiris was the inventor of intoxicating drink; but we have very good ground for believing that at the time of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt wine was already in common use there. That it was drunk at court may be gathered from the dream of Pharaoh's butler,1 and the hieroglyphics and pictures found on the ancient monuments which were coeval with or antecedent to that period,2

1 Gen. xl. 11. This was, however, the unfermented juice of the grape. 2 Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, vol. i. p. 4. Murray.

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