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were added. Aristotle says that the wines of Arcadia were so thick that they dried up in the goat-skins, and it was the practice to scrape them off, and dissolve the scrapings in water. The Romans boiled down their wines to a third part. Cyprus wines were sweet, and as thick as oil."
I have not the least question in my own mind, that, in early times, the temperate drinkers of wine drank it in an unfermented state; that those who wished to enjoy the pains and pleasure of intoxication in a greater or less degree, drank it in a fermented or drugged state; and that the insidious character of alcohol has so corrupted the public taste, as to occasion a strong bias in favor of the intoxicating wine, giving a good character to an article, which deserves a very bad one as a beverage.
These facts may not be sufficient to clear the subject of all its difficulties; but if they were as true of Judea as they are of Italy, and other wine countries, I should suppose there was little or no difficulty in the case; and surely it is reasonable to infer, in a matter of this kind, that what was the custom in one country, was, in all likelihood, that of another.
While I traveled in these countries, and saw the misery, degradation, poverty, and crime, occasioned even by the pure, unfermented alcoholic wine, I often put the question to myself, and I am sure, had you been there, you would have done the same, "Could our Lord and Savior ever have made or drank a substance producing so much misery in the world? Would he ever have performed a miracle, as he did at Cana, by turning water into such wine? Would not his benevolence, as God and as man, rather have directed his power in producing that, although by the same name, which would not injure or lead men into temptation?" From what I believe of the Savior's love, wisdom, power, and knowledge, how should I answer? How should any devout Christian answer?
I know that this is not the kind of reasoning that will convince biblical critics, nor may it satisfy every honest Christian. There are many, who believe that Christ drank intoxicating wine; but I cannot see upon what ground the argument is placed. I cannot find any passages quoted as justifying the use of intoxicating wines, which I may not apply to the unintoxicating; and, since there were two kinds, the whole question turns on this, Which he was most likely to make? Very respectfully, your friend and servant, EDWARD C. DELAVAN.
August 24, 1840.
NOTE. Any individual wishing to import such wine, and signifying his wish to me, will be furnished with every information on the subject. I am authorized by the gentleman in question, to say, that he will agree to supply it in any quantities.
THE WINE OF THE PASSOVER.
In answer to an inquiry from Mr. Delavan to M. M. Noah, Esq., as to the kind of wine used at the Passover, Mr. Noah made the following reply :
"I have your favor requesting to know how the wine is prepared for the Passover. If you wish to make a small quantity for the communion table, (for the wine will soon grow sour, having no alcoholic body,) take a gallon demijohn or stone jug, pick three or four pounds of bloom raisins; break off the stems; put the raisins into the demijohn, and fill it with water. Tie a rag over the mouth, and place the demijohn near the fire, or on one side the fire-place, to keep it warm. In about a week it will be fit for use, making a pure, pleasant, and sweet wine, free from alcohol. It may last from Sunday to Sunday without getting sour or tart; but it is easy to make a small quantity for each time it is to be used. This is the wine we use on the nights of the Passover, because it is free from fermentation, as we are strictly prohibited, not only from eating leavened bread, but from drinking fermented liquors."
ON THE PROPER SYMBOL OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
And the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin.—1 John i. 7.
1. Unquestionably this precious assurance is expressed in figurative language. Its meaning, however, and right application, are not necessarily obscure: for, by the blood of Christ, his sufferings and death, in behalf of sinners, are signified.
2. Moral agents, who, in heart, dislike the holiness and law of the true God, are sinners. Sin is the soul's pollution. "The wages of sin is death." This decree is just and right. It is eternal and immutable. The highest welfare of Jehovah's immense dominions demands its execution. For every transgressor, who will hate and forsake the heart's native dislike of the living God, and his holy requisitions; and who, by an affectionate trust, will become morally and spiritually one with Christ, a death, satisfactory to this righteous law, has been graciously suffered. That death is here figuratively denominated, "The blood of Christ."
3. Another metaphor is prominent in this blessed proclamation from heaven. It is expressed by cleansing-by cleansing from
sin. It is a work which reaches and renews the heart. It, of course, indicates a moral purification of the depraved soul. The heart thus cleansed, experiences, while in probation, a partial deliverance from the dominion of sin. In immortality, that deliverance will be complete and interminable.
4. Christ, the night in which he was betrayed, instituted a sacramental memorial of himself. He enjoined its observance, to remind his followers, that, because they are sinners, death is their desert. Especially, by this sacrament, does he repeat the astonishing truth, that he has suffered death in their stead-thus procuring, for them, those efficient influences, which fit them for pardon, justification, and life everlasting. In his person as Mediator-both divine and human-both God and man-heaven's unrepealable law, pronouncing death on the sinner, is effectually executed and the truth of Jehovah is manifested to his witnessing kingdom, though penitent and believing sinners, whom his own mouth had condemned to die, are made holy-are forgiven-and will be blessed forever in realizing his infinite approbation. Now, God can be just, and yet justify every person, who, in faith and love, will embrace the principle of godliness.
5. Two material symbols are, by Immanuel's order, to be received in the sacramental memorial of his sufferings and death. These are bread and drink-the latter being, in the constitution of this ordinance, styled "The cup." Both denote, symbolically, the soul's spiritual nourishment and hope. Emphatically does the cup present to view that victory over sin and Satan, and that heavenly anticipation which every faithful disciple is warranted to enjoy, when, by these symbols, a clear remembrance and strong impression of the agonies which Christ endured on the cross, are produced.
6. A symbol, for religious illustration, is that natural object which is selected to represent a moral reality. It should, consequently, be an article altogether favorable to the most edifying and happy effect on pious emotions. It should be, obviously, appropriate-bearing a readily perceived resemblance to the object which it is employed to represent. If it does not, the impression, will, at best, be inaccurate and without force.
7. Cleansing is intended by the symbol which the sacramental cup exhibits. By cleansing is meant the removal of what is vile and offensive, odious and destructive. The metaphor before us refers, and is applied, to the mind. Sin constitutes the inexcusable baseness of the guilty soul.
8. It is the condemning sentence, justly pronounced upon the penitent sinner, which is canceled by the death of Christ. The believer's pardon is, therefore, the ineffable favor affirmed by the declaration, that " The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all our
sins." By shedding his blood, and dying in our stead, he prepared the way for that moral cleansing which our souls need, which we must experience, or never be delivered from the curse of the law.
9. An alcoholic, and therefore intoxicating, liquor, named wine, is received, in the solemnities of our religion, as a symbol of that cleansing blood. Such a pestilent material is taken as a memorial of that death. It adds life and strength to sin, instead of slaying the detestable evil. Be it spoiled cider, or be it logwood tea, mingled with whisky, and medicated with various drugs; be it thus rendered exciting, and palatable, and gratifying to an appetite, which, wherever it exists, should be forthwith destroyed or be it, if you will, in some rare instances, and in a small part of the foul compound, even the juice of grapes: still, remember, that unless the contents of the cup are unadulterated by fermentation, it has ceased to be the original and genuine "fruit of the vine.' "" It possesses a new character. It is, no longer, inoffensive Must. Rather, it is alcoholic and intoxicating. It is, consequently, deceptive, as it affects spiritual experience. Here, then, a solemn question arises. Between the blood of Christ, in its qualities, design, and application, and a liquor so vile in its construction, and so defiling in its effects, can there be so much as a shade of resemblance? Ought a liquid, so corrupting, to be religiously employed? Allow that it has been sealed, and treated as sacred by the traditionary custom of eighteen centuries; can any person rationally believe, that even a tradition so inveterate, has power to make the poisonous fluid an appropriate symbol of cleansing from sin ?
10. Wine, so called, and, of necessity, in the Christian world at large, erroneously so called, contains nothing sacramental, it is believed, which harmonizes with the bidding of heaven-nothing which tends to exhibit the atoning blood and death of Christnothing, which, in the smallest degree, tells concerning the great object accomplished by these wonders of our world. For, is alcoholic drink a cleanser? The inquiry regards no difference between the real and the fictitious-between the fermented juice of grapes, or medicated whisky, or any other liquor from the distillery. Who, now, but the fatuitous, can be found to take such liquor, and apply it for the removal of impurities? How, then, can it be an appropriate symbol of the blood divine, infinitely pure and precious, and which cleanses from moral pollution? Truly, it seems evident as a sunbeam, in a day without clouds, that few things, if any, either in language or rhetoric, in sound philosophy or religion, can be imagined, that are more dissimilar or incongruous.
11. See the blighting effects of drink that is alcoholic. Call it
wine, if you please. The name is comparatively nothing. Its use should be first, and most decidedly, rejected by the church. Its pernicious effects are seen by millions, and suffered by wretches without number. This deleterious drink stimulates the brain, throwing it into an unnatural and unmanageable excitement. It agitates and disturbs the thinking faculty, of which the brain is said to be the organ. Instead of cleansing and strengthening the moral operations, it disturbs the thinking and reasoning exercises, and produces debasing irregularity and confusion, associated with humiliating weakness and delusion. How absurd, then, must be the pretence, that such a fluid constituted the sacramental cup in the hand of Christ, or that it could ever be commended by the author of salvation. At the time of this institution, and for the paschal celebration in ages preceding, fermented articles were ordered, on the severest penalties, to be excluded from the habitations of the Lord's people.
12. Consider, too, the effects of alcoholic drink on the heart. This is the moral department of the soul. As the heart chooses and acts, in relation to righteousness and sin, so is our standing in the eye and decision of heaven. To this moral department of the soul, therefore, the consequences of alcoholic drink are, if possible, more deadly than to the understanding. Intoxicating drink does, undoubtedly, like the pleasures of sin, create a momentary gratification. It is, however, that sort of joy which the wisest of mere men did long since pronounce, "The mirth of fools." Instead of cleansing and purifying, such drink pollutes the heart. Strangely irrational must the claim be, that the intoxicating fluid named wine-especially as the world generally has it can ever have been selected by infinite benevolence, and made essential, as a symbol of that blood which cleanses the heart, and delivers it from the despotic power of sinning depravity. It appears not to be doubted, that, with at least ninety-nine hundredths of mankind, pollution, not moral purification, is the sole tendency and common effect of imbibing the liquor now under consideration. What, consequently, can the church do, that will more effectually impede the progress of the blessed temperance cause towards perfection, than to insist that an intoxicating sacramental cup is indispensable to acceptance and edification?
13. See, then, the conclusion at which we arrive, and on the correctness of which we dare to rely. Let the inspired volume be devoutly inspected. Let this be done without reference to those popular comments, which have no support, excepting the tradition of nearly two thousand years. In vain will authority be there sought, for alcoholic drink in the sacramental cup. But