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to think the question settled. But we must say that his dictum is the only authority which we can find for what he maintains; and that, on the contrary, what valid authority can be found, goes to prove that yayin always means a fermented liquor.
The writer next proceeds to examine the word sheikar. Now, whether sheikar be stronger or weaker than yayin, whatever it may be produced from, or whether or not the ancients understood the art of distillation, we cannot perceive to be of any consequence in settling this question of fermentation. But the assertions (p. 15) that "Both words" (yayin and sheikar) "are generic"-that "both may be kept and used in an unfermented state"-we maintain are assertions unsupported by any evidence, and founded upon nothing but preconceived theory; and that what are called unfermented yayin and unfermented sheikar have no more right to be so named than molasses has to be called wine or rum. And we defy any one to prove the contrary from Scripture or any other proper authority, either ancient or modern.
Page 16 begins thus: "That my position is correct in regard to the generic nature of both the words in question, and that both may mean a liquor, either intoxicating or unintoxicating, is shown decisively by Num. vi, 3. There the Nazarite is forbidden, first to drink either yayin or shay-cawr. This is generic in respect to both." For this last assertion no proof has as yet been adduced. The very thing to be proved is assumed as a fact. The writer proceeds, "But then, in order to enforce the precept more thoroughly, the legislator goes on to particularize. He forbids the Nazarite to drink the hhomets yayin, or the hhometz shay-cawr, i. e., fermented wine or fermented shay-cawr. Manifestly the idea conveyed by our translation here is wrong. The vinegar of wine and the vinegar of strong drink, (as our Version has it,) were no more employed as drinks by the Hebrews, than vinegar of cider or wine is used for drink by us." This is very cavalier treatment of our translation of the Bible. Nor have the Septuagint and Vulgate versions less reason to complain. The Septuagint renders the phrase in question oxos ex oinqu kai oxos ek sikera, i. e., vinegar from wine and vinegar from sikera. The Vulgate renders it Acetum ex vino, et ex qualibet alia potione. And with this agree the translations of Junius and Tremellius, and of two different French Bibles in our possession. But a mere dictum sweeps before it all other authority. Any Hebrew scholar, who has not a preconceived theory to maintain, sees at once that in the above cited ex
pression hhomets stands in what is called the construct state with yayin and with sheikar, (or, as Professor Stuart spells it, shay-cawr,) and that our translation is perfectly correct. But the Professor himself must be suffered to disprove what he has above asserted, namely, that hhomets yayin and hhomets sheikar mean fermented wine and fermented sheikar. The last paragraph of page 31 is as follows: "The word hay-mer is used with somewhat more frequency" (than so-vey,) "and is not confined to poetry. It comes from the root haw-mar, which means to ferment. Of course the noun means any liquor which is fermentable; not the passive idea of a liquor fermented, which would be contrary to the nature of the form here given to the noun, for it would naturally take a participial form." Now hhomets, a noun of very common form, is as far from a passive participial form as hay-mer; and, according to what is here said by Prof. Stuart, the expressions for fermented yayin and fermented sheikar should be yayin hhamuts and sheikar hhamuts; which passive participial form of this very root we find in the first verse of the 63d chap. of Isaiah. Such is the decisive evidence afforded by Num. vi, 3. Prof. Stuart thinks that hhomets cannot mean vinegar, because "The vinegar of wine and the vinegar of strong drink were no more employed as drinks by the Hebrews, than vinegar of cider or wine is used for drink by us.' In the 21st verse of Ps. xlix, it is said, "They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar (hhomets) to drink." This hhomets certainly cannot mean any thing produced by the vinous fermentation, for it would be no hardship to drink wine, unless it were such stuff as some modern theorists recommend. If we turn to the 14th verse of the 2d chap. of Ruth, we find that Boaz tells Ruth, at meal time, to eat of the bread and to dip her morsel in the hhomets, translated in our Bible vinegar, with which all the translations above referred to agree. Whether this way of using vinegar be eating it or drinking it, we do not pretend to say; but the text certainly shows that vinegar was swallowed together with food; unless, indeed, it was not vinegar, but some kind of wine, as was by our author above maintained. We think, however, that the Professor could not consistently admit that so good a man as Boaz would be so immoral as to give fermented liquor to his laborers or to his guests. How all this can be rendered consistent, we do not understand.
In page 17, it is said of shay-cawr that it has, "if I may so express it, a good and a bad side to it." This modern apparatus is like that of a conjuror. You see him draw wine
from a vessel, and when he draws again from the same vessel, instead of the same wine coming out, you have a liquor totally different. An uninitiated man reads his Bible quietly, and thinks he knows what is meant by wine; but, by this newly discovered legerdemain, when he least expects it, whisk! it is turned into a liquor totally different from what it was just before. New assistance is continually required to enable Christians to read their Bible. The Romish Church will not suffer her members to read it without comment; and now, among Protestants, it requires the aid of critics who have a cause to serve.
The assertion that there are such things as unfermented wine and unfermented sheikar is so frequently repeated in the pamphlet, that the writer of it seems to have persuaded himself that no truth is more firmly established, although we cannot discover any proof of it, as we have said before, but the assumption of the writer. The very thing to be proved is taken for granted without a shadow of reason, that we can discover; and then deductions are drawn to suit the purposes of modern ultraists.
P. 20th: "The great mass of the Jews have ever understood this prohibition as extending to fermented wine or strong drink, as well as to bread. The word is essentially the same, which designates the fermentation of bread and that of liquors. Hence the Jews, the world over, with few exceptions, have kept the Passover with unfermented wine." We should have thought that the letters above referred to, ought to have prevented the above assertion; but they appear not to have been attended to. After reading the pamphlet of Prof. Stuart, we inquired of an intelligent Jew in New York, whether fermented liquor was prohibited in the celebration of their Passover. He said that they feared to use the wines in common use, lest they should contain spirits procured from grain, which they consider as containing in them a sort of leaven, against which the Jews, in their Passover, guard with the greatest care. But that as to fermentation, it did not render the liquor unlawful; on the contrary, that in his family some water had lately been poured upon raisins, in order to prepare wine for the approaching Passover, and that the mixture had been placed near the stove that it might ferment. He referred us to the Rabbi (or Reader) of one of the Synagogues; who, upon inquiring of him, confirmed what had been told us before, and added moreover that, in London, the wine merchants furnish the Jews with wine, that is fermented liquor, such as they can depend upon as free from spirits distilled from grain ;
and that thus they are relieved from the necessity of preparing their wine for themselves. The reason why they employ ordinary wine in the East during the Passover is explained by what Mr. Smith says in his letter-"None of the wines are enforced with extra brandy," &c. Who does not know that the prohibition of leavened bread is in commemoration of the sudden departure of the children of Israel from Egypt before the dough in their troughs had time to rise? The Jews also give a figurative sense to the word leaven; but wine has nothing to do with the subject.
We ask any man of common sense if it can be, that the same word is used throughout the Scriptures, and upon all occasions, to express two different liquors, the one lawful and the other unlawful, the one a blessing and the other a curse? The idea is absurd, and the attempt to prove it, altogether futile. Noah drank an intoxicating liquor which he had made from his own vineyard. Will it be pretended that he did not know what he was about? After he awoke from his wine, a curse did not fall upon him, but he was able to pronounce a malediction upon the son who had looked upon his father's nakedness. And after this occurrence, Noah lived some three hundred and fifty years. Perhaps Prof. S. would say that he had not yet found out how to make unfermented wine. And this, we have no doubt, is true, for, from all we can learn, no one else has ever discovered that art. Far be it from us to offer a shadow of excuse for habitual drunkenness; but a good cause needs only the aids of truth, and the dictates of reason, and not bold assertions founded upon nothing but false and exaggerated views of a preconceived theory.
The latter part of p. 25 and the whole of p. 26 present a curious specimen of logic. But it would require much paper, and more patience, to make a complete answer to all the strange arguments contained in the pamphlet.
P. 28: Whoredom, and wine, and new wine, take away the heart." Hos. iv, 2. The Professor labors to show that, in this passage, new wine (tirosh) does not mean an intoxicating liquor, but one that is sweet and unfermented. Every Hebrew scholar knows that, in Hebrew, the word (leibo) the heart is continually used to express the powers of the intellect. Here then, to one of common apprehension, is declared in the above passage, that there are three things which take away the heart or understanding of man. But Prof. Stuart maintains, lest his theory should suffer, that the new wine (tirosh) was in itself harmless and pleasant, and only used as revellers of the present day would employ sugar or syrups.
So that by "wine, and new wine," must be meant intoxicating wine mixed with that which has no strength. A common person would suppose that by mixing a strong liquor with one that is weak, its strength would be diminished. It is really painful to follow such absurdities of a man of erudition, who, doubtless, is sincerely desirous of doing good. We should like to see the authority for what is stated in p. 29, that "it appears abundantly from Greek and Latin writers" that "wine was extensively kept by the ancients in an unfermented state." Also for what is asserted p. 36, "And if the ancients may decide that question, it is clear that the best wine was unintoxicating." We suspect that Horace would not have thanked any one for such wine.
Pp. 35 and 36: "Isaiah (lv, 1) invites every one that thirsteth to come and procure wine and milk without money and without price." Upon this, Prof. Stuart coolly pronounces, “Wine then and milk were drank together, the milk correcting the acid in the wine, as it does in our wine whey. The valuable nature of the drink in question is plainly recognized, by the fact that it is made the symbol of spiritual blessings." It is true that warm wine-whey has value as a drink for invalids. But we doubt whether Isaiah or any one else ever before thought of mixing together wine and milk in order to improve the wine. Wine coagulates milk, and turns it to curds and whey. So that this "valuable" drink proves to be genuine bonnyclabber !
P. 38: "The use of alcohol in large measures, or its habitual and contiued use in small ones, is subservient to no good purpose in regard to persons in health, but, on the contrary, injures them, or at least has a direct tendency to injure the fine and delicate parts of the human frame, by producing inflammatory or paralyzing effects, and aggravating the action of many diseases to which the human frame is liable, and rendering them more obstinate and unmanageable." Thus says Prof. Stuart. The Edinburgh Dispensatory, on the contrary, pronounces that "Wine, taken in moderate quantities, acts as a beneficial stimulus to the whole system. It promotes digestion, increases the action of the heart and arteries, raises the heat of the body, and exhilarates the spirits."* When doctors differ, what are laymen to do? In the same p. 38 of the pamphlet, it is asserted that "the taste for alcoholic liquors is unnatural and factitious"-"Children refuse it," (alcohol.) We cannot tell from our own experience; but we have been
* Duncan's Edinburgh Dispensatory, Worcester edition, July, 1805, p. 323.