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strongly in favor of the strict enforcement of the prohibitory law. The reason is, of course, simple enough. The mountaineer has not studied the principles of government; such names as Lecky, Lilly, Mills, etc., are unknown to him; he is in ignorance of the fundamental basis of law-making in organized society, but he does know that prohibition doesn't prohibit, though he may not use that term to express the idea. And he knows that under prohibitory laws his onc gallon of blockade liquor grows into two or three gallons through no arduous effort of his own, but by the simple addition of cologne spirits or some similar adulterant.
Theoretical knowledge is one thing, practical knowledge another. It would be impossible for the blockader to formulate the theorem that prohibition doesn't prohibit, but he can prove it in a practical way, without any difficulty and he does it every time he peddles out his gallon of "blockade," watered to half-strength, then fortified with cologne spirits, for a $1.50 a quart in villages and lumber camps where somebody always has a thirst and can find the coin to assuage it. Until prohibition came to the mountains blockade whiskey sold for from $2.50 to $3.00 a gallon-and the most of it was unadulterated. “Under prohibition it is a fact,” comments the author, "that blockading as a business conducted in armed defiance of the law is increasing by leaps and bounds since the mountain region went dry. The profits today are much greater than before, because liquor is harder to get, in country districts, and consumers will pay higher prices without question.” He holds no brief against prohibition, and would solve the question of illicit distilling as an economic and not as a moral problem.
THE DRINK QUESTION, by the Rev. Joseph KEATING, S. J., is one in the series of manuals edited by the Catholic School Guild in England. (P. S. King & Son, London.) The book is “an attempt to give a clear analysis of that vast sociological problem, the Drink Question, and to state to what extent and in what way Catholic principles are concerned in its solution." The author quotes somewhat extensively from some of the prominent prohibition authorities, such as Horsley and Sturge, Sullivan, Reid, Kelynack, but is by no means willing to travel the same road as they and differs from them in his conclusions. The book is manifestly an argument for True Temperance, but not for Prohibition. The author would not underrate the importance of the Drink Problem, but believes that it “is not the most fundamental problem with which modern civilization is faced. It is true that excessive drinking intensifies all the other evils we deplore, but it is not the cause of them all. Sweating, bad housing, insufficient food, imperfect
. education, excessive facilities for excess, adulterated liquor evenall the dehumanizing elements that disgrace our industrial system, enter essentially into the Drink Question, and the remedies for all, to be effectual, must be sought simultaneously.”
He reviews the history of liquor legislation in England and calls attention to two important factors in legislating upon this Problem, first--that legislation in violent opposition to public opinion, if unsupported by other influences, is apt to miss its object, and even to produce worse disorder; the second, that legislation, judiciously framed and carefully applied, can do much to rectify public morals. The efficiency of a law depends upon the willingness of the community as a whole to obey it; if the whole community rejects a particular law, there is no means of enforcing it: it becomes a dead letter. And the difficulty of enforcing a particular law will obviously vary with the number and influence of those who resist it. Laws regulating the consumption of alcoholic liquor are necessarily of a restrictive character, and if they are to win acceptance, they must either recommend themselves by their reasonableness or be backed by an adequate force.
The attitude of the Catholic Church upon the question in the abstract, and the methods of teaching temperance principles is clearly stated in the chapter "Ethics of the Question." While the Church holds that drunkenness is one of the seven deadly sins,
"She has expressly prohibited Catholics joining the “Sons of Temperance' in the United States and the 'Good Templars,' 'Rechabites' and similar societies in the British Isles, because she cannot wholly approve of the motives of these zealous reformers, nor has she any guarantee of the soundness of their methods. And even when the Temperance cause is dissociated from any specifically religious propaganda, this does not make it altogether unobjectionable from the Catholic point of view. For in such a case the merely natural virtue of temperance is thrust up into an unnatural prominence and its cultivation tends to be made a religion, either of itself or in combination with those other bugbears of ultra-Puritanism, betting, smoking, card-playing and theatre-going.”
The author feels very strongly that the solution of the Drink Question is not in Prohibition. Evil as are the effects of strong drink and much as it is abused, we cannot think that the abuse is so widespread and so incurable by other means that total prohibition is justifiable. Man is made moral not by depriving him of liberty of choice, but by teaching him to use it aright. The Church has never officially supported Total Prohibition, and never will, until she be planted in the midst of a nation of habitual drunkards. From a legislative point of view the most equitable means of dealing with the question is in the author's opinion by means of local option, but the solution of the problem is not to be found in mere legislation but rather in the educating of the people in the ways of true temperance.
RELIGION AND DRINK, as the title might indicate, is written by a clergyman-the Rev. Dr. E. A. WASSON, Rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Newark, N. J. (Burr Printing House, New York City.) The book reveals the author's most careful study and painstaking scholarship.
By the word “Drink," as the preface explains, is meant those alcoholic beverages spoken of in the Bible. “Does God forbid or allow alcoholic drink?" is the question which this book is to answer, and the answer is to be found in the “law and testimony" itself.
Dr. Wasson has searched the Scriptures thoroughly. His conclusion is that
“All the teachings of the Old Testament as to the use of wine and 'strong drink' harmonize. Their common burden is: Wine and 'strong drink' are good gifts of God, not to be decried, not to be misused, but to be enjoyed (if one will) as a portion from Him who giveth to all their meat in due season. It was real wine, of different ages, of different vintage, the wine of Lebanon,' 'the wine of Helbon’; but all alike alcoholic.”
Not content with the Old Testament teachings, however, he has gone to such outside authorities as the Apocrypha, Philo, the great Jewish scholar, Josephus, the famous Jewish historian and the Jewish Encyclopedia of the present day to show that in the Biblical and ancient references to "tirosh," "oinos," "yayin," the terms for wine, must have referred to fermented grape juice.
The Gospels and the Epistles of the New Testament are also examined. "Wine" is frequently mentioned in the New Testament and "strong drink" once. The Greek word rendered as "wine" is "oinos,” the classic word for the fully fermented beverage. To thie author's mind there is no doubt that the "wine" which our Lord miraculously created at the marriage feast was alcoholic wine of the highest excellence. He quotes from Corinthians to show the intoxicating quality of the wine used at the Lord's Supper.
Several chapters are taken up with the attitude of the primitive church in regard to the use of wine. By "primitive" church Dr. Wasson means the early church of the first two or three centuries following Christ. He shows that the use of wine for sacramental purposes was practically universal and that drinking intoxicating beverages was general throughout the church. Several branches of the then Christian church which used water for the Lord's Supper were commanded to stop and to use wine instead.
"The attitude of the primitive church toward wine," says the author, "was the attitude of the later church. Everywhere, always, and by all, was wine blessed and drunk in the most solemn and exalted of the church's rites--as it had been by its Founder and Lord." A significant historical fact is that throughout western Christendom the most famous drinks were made by monks, both wines and ales. The special value of the waters of Burton-on-Trent for brewing was discovered by the neighboring monks. The Malthouse, indeed, was as indispensable a feature of a monastery as the chapel. In medieval England an “ale” was synonymous with a parish festival, at which this was the chief drink.
The chapter on the Reformation gives the views of Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, and others, and shows how the subject of wine was treated in such books as “Pilgrim's Progress," "Robinson Crusoe," "Swiss Family Robinson" and "Vicar of Wakefield," which the author calls “immortal contributions of Non-Conformity to the English classics."
Martin Luther not only recommended the use of intoxicants in moderation, but wrote letters in which he stated that he himself used them. Calvin and Knox held practically the same attitude with reference to drink, but Wesley's was slightly different in that he regarded the use of light wines and beers as helpful to healtlı but exhorted his followers to beware of the brandies and strong drinks. Kostlin's "Life of Luther" says: "Mrs. Luther ‘at Wittenberg ... brewed, as was then the custom, their own beer.'
Wesley denounced dram-drinking and dram-shops. In a letter to a newspaper in 1772 he ascribes the high prices to the consumption of so much wheat by distilleries and advises that distilling be prohibited by law. Beer, however, was regarded in a different light by the Father of Methodism. "Small beer," water, new cider and buttermilk are favored by him, but he believed tea to be injurious and started a society to promote abstinence from it.
We are reminded that Bunyan in his "Pilgrim's Progress" represents Christian and Christiania as frequently, if not ordinarily, drinking, on their way to the Celestial City, and as being helped on their way by this drink. From "Robinson Crusoe” Dr. Wasson adduces twenty passages which show that in the book drink is regarded as one of the necessities of life. The “Vicar of Wakefield" in Goldsmith's immortal book speaks very kindly of the country tavern: “I retired to a little ale-house by the roadside, ... the usual retreat of indigence and frugality.”... “I took shelter, as fast as possible, in the first ale-house that offered." Here he and a chance acquaintance shared "in a bowl of punch."
"The Temperance Movement" and "Prohibition" are treated in separate chapters. The Temperance Movement the author finds, to have a Biblical basis, whereas the Prohibition propaganda has moved over into the political arena. In the article on “The Temperance Movement" the customs and teachings of the more important churches as to the use of liquor are discussed. Since Dr. Wasson is a minister in the Protestant Episcopal Church, he naturally treats the usages of that church at some length. While much was being said in other denominations about the iniquity of fermented wine in the Holy Communion, he tells us, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in this country adopted the following Resolution, dated Chicago, October 26, 1886:
“That, in the judgment of the House of Bishops, the use of the unfermented juice of the grape, as the lawful and proper wine of the Holy Eucharist, is unwarranted by the example of our Lord, and an unauthorized departure from the custom of the Catholic Church."
He quotes Bishop Webb, of the diocese of Milwaukee, to indicate the attitude of the Episcopal clergy concerning saloons:
"The Episcopal clergy is inclined to regard with leniency the saloon in all its phases, so long as the saloon is not detrimental, on its face, to public interest and morals. I believe that the general tendency of the Episcopal clergy is to favor, rather than oppose, the well-regulated saloon. The saloon, when at its best, certainly has many things in its favor. It is a gathering-place of people, and in many instances of good people.”