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Next to the groundless supposition, to which professing Christians so generally adhere, that intoxicating wine was given by our Lord to His disciples at the institution of His supper, in the upper room at Jerusalem,— perhaps no event, in His most memorable life, has been more confidently urged, or with less reason, as a plea against teetotalism, than His turning water into wine at the "marriage in Cana, of Galilee." The simple and beautiful narrative, as contained in the 2d chapter of John's Gospel, is as follows:

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and His disciples to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast; and they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him."


With the light which has been shed upon the subject of antialcoholic temperance, in preceding letters, I apprehend there will be no great difficulty in setting at rest the question, "Was the wine, which Jesus made in Cana of Galilee, intoxicating or unintoxicating?" Without hesitation, but after much thought, I say unintoxicating, because the action of Jesus could not have been in opposition to His own law, and it was His law (as has, I trust, been satisfactorily proved by incontrovertible facts and arguments, in the course of these letters,) that men should not drink of intoxicating wine, or other intoxicating liquor, except for necessary medicinal purposes. There is not the shadow of a reason, for holding the opinion that the wine which Jesus made at this marriage was inebriating. It is founded upon the groundless assumption, that because Christian men, in large numbers, will have it, that there is only one kind of wine, and that intoxicating, and that there never was any other; therefore, all the Scriptures, which either positively or by implication, forbid the use of wine, must apply to it, not in all quantities, and of all degrees of alcoholic strength, but only to the immoderate use of it, contrary to the obvious meaning of the following, and many similar passages of Holy Writ: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red;" attention to which, has been given thoroughout these letters. The dispu tants upon the opposite sides of this question, may be arranged under the distinctive appellations of, "The Alcoholic School," and "The Anti-alcoholic School."

To the Alcoholic School, belonged the celebrated Missionary to China, the Rev. Dr. Medhurst, some time deceased. It boasts of the popular Dr. Cumming, also, as a resolute combatant; and to it the majority of divines of the present day, zealously attach themselves, including all those who go no farther than what is called Christian expediency,-and who will not allow that the laws of revelation and physiology equally

militate against the use of alcohol in man's normal state of health.

To the Anti-alcoholic School, on the other hand, belong all those who claim for the Bible, the distinct enunciation of a law against the use of alcoholic liquors, by man in his normal state of health; and for Science, the explicit declaration of the same law.

One or two specimens, illustrative of the mode of reasoning of disciples of each of these schools, may now be given. The Rev. Dr. Medhurst, in his sermon, "Add to your faith -temperance:" (II Peter i, 5, 6,) referred to in a previous letter, thus expresses himself:

"We are now prepared to consider the question relative to the wine made at the marriage in Cana. We have already got the definition of oinos, not only from its derivation, but from the meaning assigned to it by our Lord himself. When, therefore, we find that the oinos is spent at a certain feast, and that our Saviour produces a liquor which is reckoned, by a tolerable judge, to be good oinos; what are we to suppose that that oinos was. What, but the identical liquid which is spoken of, in another part of the same book, as fermented wine? We must say, that if the evangelist intended that we should understand by it an unfermented and a non-intoxicating wine, it became him to employ some other term, in order to prevent our being led astray.

"We may further infer, that the oinos made on that occasion was fermented wine, from the account given of it by the master of the feast. Referring to a general rule on such occasions, he says, 'Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk,' or have had a tolerable portion, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.' Now let us try to explain this, on the supposition of its being unfermented wine. Unfermented wine is used only to slake thirst, or to please the palate. If no stimulus

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be present, as soon as the thirst is quenched, or the taste gratified, there remains no more desire to drink; and, not to speak of inferior wine being then offered, even the same sort of wine would be loathed and rejected. Merely sweet beverages soon cloy, and watery potions fill the stomach; so that when men have well drunk of these, they want no more. The man, therefore, who would give his good must, or syrup, first, and keep that which is inferior till afterwards, would be likely to get the subsequent beverage returned with disgust upon his hands. But, on the supposition that the oinos referred to was fermented wine, the speech of the master of the feast accords with common sense and experience. Fermented wine is used as a stimulant and as a cordial; being of an exciting nature, it can be taken into the stomach long after thirst has ceased; there is still a relish for it, when considerable potions have been swallowed down; and such a relish as would induce men to drink it, notwithstanding the subsequent liquor were somewhat inferior to what was formerly given. The man, therefore, who would keep his inferior fermented wine till afterwards, would be likely to have it accepted, and thus to save his superior beverage; particularly, when the acute sense of taste was so far blunted, as that the difference was not readily perceived. this, we have been merely discussing the speech of the master of the feast, as to the general practice on such occasions. The evangelist does not say, that the guests at the marriage feast of Cana had well drunk; he merely says that usterantos oinou -'they wanted wine,' or the wine was done; while the mother of Jesus said to Him, 'they have no wine.' It was, therefore, to supply their need, and not to provide them with superfluities, that Jesus turned the water into wine. The quantity, also, will not appear great when we consider that there were at such feasts, sometimes, hundreds of persons, amongst whom, even six water-pots full of the light wine commonly used in Judea, would not have been too large a supply."



It appears evident to me, that Dr. Medhurst has mistaken the points of contrast, brought out in bold relief in the address of the governor of the feast to the bridegroom. It was not, in my opinion, more intoxicating wine, or wine containing a larger percentage of alcohol, made by the miraculous power of Jesus, which the governor intended to contrast with less intoxicating wine provided for the guests at an earlier period of the feast, but the custom of "every man ”—(i. e., men in general— as tout le monde," or "all the world," is a term applied to a great and indefinite number;) at the beginning setting forth good wine, and, when the guests had well drunk or used a good deal of liquid for a considerable space of time, supplying them with wine of an inferior quality, which he intended to contrast with the exceptional conduct of the bridegroom upon this occasion, in keeping the good wine in store till late in the feast, and then presenting it to the guests contrary to established custom! If this view be correct, then the nature of the wine is not to be judged of from the speech of the governor, which conveys no information as to what was esteemed good in his day, nor from the habits of the people, but from the character of Him who made it, even the Saviour of sinners, who, as has been stated already, could not have broken His own commandment, but must have acted in conformity with it, in converting the water contained in the firkins into unfermented, unintoxicating wine.

The foundation upon which Dr. Medhurst built his reasonings and conclusions, was this: He judged of the nature of the wine miraculously produced by our Saviour, from the notion that because unfermented wine was not recognized by the churches of Christ, or by him in his day, as a distinct entity; therefore, it could not have been recognized by Jesus, or the Jewish people as such, and approved of by Him and them, when this miracle was performed, although there was nothing stronger than the following allegations to sustain his position, viz: that men would not want sweet beverages which soon cloy, or watery

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