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not be fermented or alcoholic, and yet they were intoxicating. In them drugs supplied the lack of spirits of wine.
But it is unnecessary to enlarge on this topic. I have adduced arguments and authorities which most incontestibly prove that the wines of the ancients were very different from ours. I have shown, from the heat of the countries, the highly saccharine quality of the grapes, the boiling and evaporating of the juice, or the diluting of the must by the addition of five times its amount of water, vinegar, &c., as in Cato's family wine; the care taken to prevent the must from fermenting, by excluding the air and immersing them in water to lower their temperature, the frequent filtering of the juice or wine, and the placing of the vessel in fumaria and ovens; from the sirupy character of many of their wines, and the custom of diluting them with so large an amount of water; from the popularity of wines destitute of all strength; from the desire of the people to drink large quantities without being intoxicated; from the innumerable varieties of their wines, and the fact that falernian was the only wine that would burn; from the weakness of wines produced from the natural juice of the grape, and the non-existence of pure alcohol to increase their potency; from the testimony of Aristotle, Polybius, Cato, Varro, Pliny, Columella, Horace, Plutarch, &c.—in a word, from science, philosophy, and history, I have demonstrated that a large proportion of the wines of old were not produced by vinous fermentation; and those which were inebriating borrowed, in the majority of cases, their intoxicating power from drugs rather than from alcohol.
I have also shown that the term "wine" was applied to any drink expressed trom the fruit of the vine, whether that wine was fermented or not. These facts, then, show the utter ignorance of science and history which those persons display who ar gue that the term "wine" always denotes a liquor similar to the highly brandied and poisonous port, sherry, &c., of modern times. The popular wines of the ancients and that of the moderns are, in their characters, "wide as the poles asunder;" for the one was frequently deprived of all its strength, while the other is charged with alcohol to make it as strong as possible; the former was often diluted with 88 per cent. water to make it inno
cuous to the nerves, head, and mind, and the latter is mixed with 22 or 26 per cent. ardent spirit to render it stimulating and intoxicating; whatever, therefore, may be said, even on the authority of Revelation, in praise of the former, can have no application whatever to the latter. To say that, because a wine destitute of poison is commended, therefore one charged with 26 per cent. of poison is also recommended, is as absurd as to reason that, because bread is wholesome, therefore we ought also to mix it with alcohol.
Having premised these things respecting the wines of the ancients, we are now prepared to look at the history of these liquors.
It is a query with some, whether or not wines were in use before the flood, and on this point we have but little data on which to proceed; but I am rather inclined to think that Noah and his sons were acquainted with the cultivation of the vine previous to the deluge. On this point, however, little can be said with absolute certainty.
Noah is the first example of drunkenness recorded in Scripture; and one would have supposed that the example of so holy a man, who had escaped the pollutions of the old world, disgraced by drink, and wallowing, senseless and naked, in his tent, would have been a sufficient warning to every pious man never to touch the intoxicating bowl; but, strange to say, the wine that degraded Noah is pleaded as an example and a reason why all good people should swallow the various kinds of intoxicating trash invented by modern caprice and cupidity. Doubtless these very pious and sanctimonious logicians, who borrow their reason from the wine-bottle, or somewhere else, rather than from Locke or Wheatly, will soon argue that the fall of David and Peter is a reason why we should curse, swear, deny our Lord, and commit adultery, provided we do it with a little moderation. Noah was drunk; therefore we ought to drink wine with moderation! Peter denied Christ with oaths and curses; therefore we ought to curse and swear with moderation!! Most persons, we ima gine, who give the subject any thought, will admit that in both cases total abstinence would be far preferable.
The wine which Noah drank was highly inebriating; but we
know, from the heat of the climate, the sweetness of the grapes in warm countries, and the weakness of wines produced from the unmixed juice of the grape, that the wine of that period and vicinity could not, in its natural state, have been very strong; and, even if a very large quantity of liquor had been drunk, still it would not have produced the inebriety described. But who will suppose that this patriarch continued long at his cups, or drenched himself with liquor? The difficulty here is easily solved, by considering the curse that lighted upon Ham. It is likely that Noah's sons cultivated the vine for their father; and Ham, most probably, prepared the liquor in question, and drugged it well, for the purpose of causing this exposure of his pious parent. The weakness of sweet fermented grape-juice in its unmixed state; the piety of Noah, which would not allow him to drink to excess; the silence of Scripture respecting the guilt of Noah in this transaction; the knowledge which Ham had of his father's degradation; and the heavy curse that lighted on him and his posterity, intimate that the sin of the father was involuntary, and that the son was the chief agent in the transaction, and that drugged rather than alcoholic wine was prepared by his iniquitous son, who probably had learnt to do so from antediluvian sensualists. Of the drugging of wine, I have adduced plenty of proofs already.
The wine which Lot drank was probably of the same description. We have already shown that the myrrh which Jacob sent into Egypt was the gum called ledum, or ladanum, by the Arabs, and was therefore exceedingly stupefying; and we know that the bad women of London carry laudanum about with them, and add it to the liquors drunk by their victims, for the purpose of duping them the more easily; and there is not a doubt but the daughters of Lot administered to their father a drink both stimulating and stupefactive. Their having lived in Sodom may have made them well acquainted with such impious arts: and, unless the wine had been drugged, we know that Lot would not have drunk enough of the common fermented juice of the grape to have robbed him so completely of all sense of decency, morality, and religion. Indeed, it is certain that the fermented wines of that climate, if such really existed, could not have produced the
effects attributed to the draught given to the patriarch; but, admit that the liquor was mixed with opium, or something of the kind, and the whole matter is plain, and the perfect ignorance of Lot, respecting what he had done, easily accounted for: while it is also seen that the patriarch sinned involuntarily; and this furnishes a reason why the Scriptures have not censured him, as they did David, for his sin. Besides, would the righteous Lot, unless completely stupefied by some drug far more potent than alcohol, have gone a second time to the bed of incest?
We find that in the time of Joseph, Pharaoh's drink was the pure juice of the grape squeezed by the butler into the king's cup, and drunk immediately. A writer against total abstinence has said that Pharaoh drunk this wine in consequence of "his fondness for home production," but that "wine was imported into Egypt from Greece and Phenicia." To establish the latter position, Herodotus, lib. iii. 6, is quoted. But the passage referred to does not at all aid the cause it is advanced to promote. For, 1. Herodotus says that "Twice a year кepaμos, an earthen vessel of wine, was conveyed into Egypt from Greece, and also from Phenicia." The expressions prove that the quantity was very small. 2. Herodotus mentions this traffic as taking place in the time of Cambyses; and therefore the writer concludes that whole cargoes of wine were imported 1200 years before, in the days of Pharaoh!! This is asserted with as much positveness as could have been the case had the pleader possessed the tables of imports into Egypt in the time of Joseph. The argument is as valid as the following. England, in 1836, imported tea to the value of 4,332,5351.; therefore England, twelve hundred years ago, imported tea to the same amount !! Who does not see the cogency of such reasoning? 3. If at that time wine was imported, though it is a query whether Greece had then any wine to import, still we must inquire, What wine? And, till this question is answered, the argument is worth nothing. If it came from Palestine or Greece, the wine was a thick boiled sirup, and destitute of a particle of alcohol, and bore not the least similitude to modern port or sherry. The same Herodotus says, that the Egyptian priests were allowed to drink “ οινοσ αμπελινος,” ‚” “ wine from the vine," which Bishop Lowth says means
a wine similar to that drunk by Pharaoh, and was unfermented; for it was 66 only the fresh juice pressed from the grape, and was called ovo predɩvos.” Herod. iii. 6; Lowth on Isaiah, chap. v. The Egyptians had vines," for God smote their vines," &c. But Sandys asserts, Throughout this country there are no wines ;" and Hasselquist tells us, "The vine is cultivated in Egypt for the sake of eating the grapes: not for wine." Herodotus states that Egyptians "used a wine made of barley." But Pannonians, Illyricans, and Germans, seem, in later times, to have used the same sort of drink. Modern travelers tell us "that an insipid drink, made from barley, is still in use in Egypt." Pococke's description of this liquor is as follows:— "The most vulgar people make a sort of beer of barley, without being malted; and they put something in it to make it intoxiIt is thick and sour, and will not keep longer than three or four days."
We have reason to believe that the ancient Chaldees did not use intoxicating drinks. Abraham came from Chaldea; and yet we do not find that wine was used in his family. When he sent Hagar away, he put a bottle of water upon her shoulder, which he would hardly have done if wine had been the common beverage. Abraham's servant, also, asked of Rebekah nothing better than water; nor did she offer anything more potent. When the Chaldeans obtained power and wealth, and the Babylonian empire was extended, drunkenness prevailed; and Cyrus took the city in consequence of the king, the army, and the people being drenched in liquor. The tetotalism of their forefathers would have saved them from Cyrus.
The Assyrians during the age of their conquests, were not wine-bibbers; for their monarch promised to the Israelites that they should "eat the fruit of the vine, and drink water from their own cisterns." These people became fond of drink in after times; they sunk into sensuality and effeminacy, and Nineveh fell to rise no more.
The Medes, according to Xenophon, were addicted to drinking; but the Persians, until the reign of Cambyses, appear to have been abstinent: and Cyrus, the water-drinker, with an army of water-drinkers, took Babylon at a time when its inhabitants