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THE TRUTH ABOUT PROHIBITION

Professor Goldwin Smith, m " Macmillan's Magazine," writes as follows :— Nothing is more odious or poisons the heart of the commu'ni'y more than the employment of spies and informers, to which it has been necessary and will always be necessary for prohibitionism to resort. Dickens holds up the mirror to nature m his description of the Chypoles and their trade. Men who have been imprisoned and ruined for plying a trade which, as only the other day they were holding licenses for it from the State, they can hardly feel to be criminal, are naturally not grateful lor such treatment. Their' vindictiveness and hatred of the spies have led to several outrages and once or twice to the use of dynamite. To force the sentiment of the peop'e into accordance with the law is the more difficult since all the time thrir church is holding up for their imitation a model of character which is not " temperate " m the Prohibitionist sense of that term. In commenting oit the mirae'e at Cana, Archdeacon Fa'rar contrasts the V general innocence of Christ's system " with the " crushing asceticism of rival systems." By way of reconciling this discrepancy despjrate efforts are made to, uphpld the astonishing th-ory thit the oinos of the Gospel was nqt fermented wine but syrup. The ruler of the feast at Cana, it seems, expressed his surprise that the best syrup had not been produced till the guests had well dtunk j the accusers of Christ m calling him a winebibber meant only that he was a syrup drinker ; it was on syrup that the Corinthians got drunk at the celebration of the Lord's supper; Paul advised his friends to take a little sjrup for the stomach's sake, and the came Apostle enjoined the church m electing deacons not to choose those who were given to excess m syrup ! To such pilfering with what every one educated enough to be a clergyman must know to be the truth we rather prefer the preacher who said boldly that if Christ were again to c:me on earth and persist m celebrating the Eucharist with wine he would have to be excluded from his own church. To drag the Gospel into this discussion on the prohibitionist stde is hopeless. '< here is no more of fanaticism than there is of formilism m that volume. When St. Paul bids us not to drink wine if thereby our brother is made to stum'le he couples eating meat with drinking wine, showing thxt m his opinion both m themselves are innocent. The Gospel bids us have regard to the weakness of our brother, but it does not bid our brother be weak or us to countenance his weakness by unjust and unwise legisla- ' tion,

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THE TRUTH ABOUT PROHIBITION Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2202, 17 August 1889

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