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النشر الإلكتروني

AN ESSAY

ON THE

CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF

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CRIMES, DISEASES, AND OTHER EVILS,

INTOXICATING DRINKS.

IN THIS WORK THE CHARACTER OF THE WINES OF SCRIPTURE IS SETTLED IN ACCORDANCE
WITH THE INDUCTIONS OF SCIENCE AND THE FACTS OF HISTORY.

BY THE REV. B. PARSONS.

OTHECA

The Rev. John Howard Hinton, one of the three Adjudicators of the prize of One Hundred Guineas for
the best Essay on Intemperance, gave his voice in favour of Anti-Bacchus.'

Αριστον μεν υδωρ.”—Pindar.

"Utilissimum vinum omnibus sacco viribus fractis.”—Pliny.

"It is not for kings to drink wine, nor princes strong drink."-Solomon.

THIRD THOUSAND.

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1840.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY JOHN SNOW, 35, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

1001.

BO

LONDON: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.

PREFACE.

THE Writer of this Essay was not aware until six months after the adjudication had been given, that it had obtained the approbation of one of the adjudicators; at that time, 'Bacchus,' the successful Essay, was on the eve of issuing from the press, and, therefore, it was deemed prudent to defer publishing until that work had appeared, and been read; being resolved, if the works were at all similar, not to publish the one now submitted to the public. Having read through 'Bacchus,' I found that my Essay and that of my successful rival were sufficiently different from each other to warrant publication.

As many of the facts and arguments, hereafter adduced, were deemed worthy of consideration, it was thought advisable to mention in the title-page, that this Essay had obtained the vote of the Rev. J. H. Hinton, one of the adjudicators, believing that this announcement might draw the attention of several persons, who hitherto have not weighed the matter, to the subject of Temperance. But I must here observe, that Mr. Hinton is by no means concerned in the announcement of his name, nor on my part has there been any breach of confidence. I heard it from an independent source, full six months before I had any communication whatever with Mr. Hinton; it was not told me as a secret, and, therefore, I felt at liberty to make it public.

Total Abstinence, or Tee-totalism, as it is now commonly called, is the first application of science to diet on a large and popular scale. It has had to pass through the opposition, the abuse, the ridicule to which everything destined to bless mankind has been generally doomed. It has of course been said to be wild and extravagant, and alike opposed to health, usage, and Scripture. It was the perpetual mention of its contrariety to the Word of God that induced

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the writer to turn his attention to the subject. I examined every text of Scripture in which wine is mentioned; I inquired very minutely into the laws of fermentation; into the character of the grapes, and the wines, and the drinking usages of antiquity: the result of these inquiries was, that I came to the firm conclusion that few, if any, of the wines of antiquity were alcoholic. I examined Homer, Aristotle, Polybius, Horace, Virgil, Pliny, Columella, Cato, Palladius, Varro, Philo-Judæus, Juvenal, Plutarch, and others; I read each in the original language, and not through a translation, and therefore have not been misled by any interpreter; and in every instance I have carefully examined the context, that I might not give an unfair representation to any of my authorities. I have carefully studied some of the best writers on fermentation, and therefore am fully satisfied my conclusions are based on science and history. I have also consulted accredited Parliamentary Returns; the report of the Parliamentary Report on Drunkenness; and have attentively read some of the best writers on Physiology, Health and Diet. I have inquired likewise into the drinks of different nations, and the effects consequent thereupon; and from all I have been compelled to conclude that Total Abstinence is, in every respect, profitable to mankind, and that all intoxicating drinks might instantly be banished from the earth, not only without any loss, even as a medicine, but with incalculable advantage to every human being.

A writer in the Congregational Magazine has lately uttered an almost suppressed murmur against our principles. Our advocates do not please him. We have sent out the best we have; and if that gentleman will come forward himself and bring all his eloquent friends with him, our poor illiterate speakers, who now plead this cause of God, and of humanity, not from choice, but from necessity, will sit down in silence. This same gentleman is scandalised, that we should make any use of philology in examining the wines of Scripture; this remark was of course a lapsus mentis, because Mr. Medhurst employed philology against us; and although, in doing so, he most sadly betrayed his own learning and critical acumen, yet our opponents never uttered a whisper against philology then. Philology employed against us, it seems, is an admirable weapon, but a most wicked instrument when used in our favour! But in the Congregational Magazine, we have almost continually some of the most important arguments based on philology; why then should not the Tee-totallers be allowed among other instruments of warfare, to use philology? I certainly was surprised to find, in the Congregational Magazine, any unscholarlike objections to philology. Of the use made of it in the following pages, let the learned judge.

Professor Edgar has quite lost his temper on the subject, and, therefore, has done us much service by the books he has written against us, none of which have merited an answer, because the professor himself, in his cooler moments, has very ably confuted himself. His sneer, that unfermented wine is "jam and water," is not a sneer at us, but at the juice of the grape as it comes from the hand of God, and therefore, we will leave him to settle that affair with his Maker.

But lest I should become tedious by further preliminaries, I will stay here, that the reader may at once proceed, and read and judge for himself.

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