Early Friday afternoon the "new course" of priests chosen for the function representing all the priests, and Levites typical of the tribe of Levi, with the "stationary men" emblematic of all Israel, came to the Temple to take their places for the following week. The men chosen by "lot" take their places for the ceremonial of the proposition bread and wine.
When the sacrifice of the lamb begun at three p.m. had nearly ended, three blasts were blown from the silver trumpets to tell all in Temple and sacred city that the Sabbath was drawing near, for it began at sundown. Jacob, their last great patriarch, had established this hour of prayer, for it was the time when, later, Jesus died. The Roman emperor Augustus had issued a decree, that during this hour the Jews were exempt from attending the law courts, that they might attend the Sabbath worship.
Lamps and candles are lighted to foretell the Messiah. Priests robed in rich vestments, wash the sacrificial altar from stains of blood, "lots" are drawn to see who was to perform the varied functions of priest and Levite. Those so chosen first began the preparation of the proposition, "show," or "Face bread" in one of the Temple chambers. The Rabbis call it the "Bread of the Face of God Almighty," the "Angel of the Face" the "Perpetual Bread," the "Bread of laying out" the "Angel of his Presence" etc. They held it in great honor. Its renewal each Sabbath was an important Temple service, for it imaged the altar bread of the Last Supper and of the Mass.
In the Holies, with walls covered with plates of purest gold, at the northern or most sacred side, stood the credence table, three feet long, one and a half wide and high, made of purest solid gold, its feet, like those of animals, turned out, and connected in the middle with a magnificent gold crown. The table of the tabernacle was made of sitim wood, the acacia tree of the Arabian deserts, and all the wood was covered with plates of pure gold. At the time of Christ, the Temple table was of solid gold, which had been given by the Machabees to replace the one Antiochus Epiphanes took away. Josephus writes of a larger table which Ptolemy Philadelphus gave. 1
From purest wheat grown in Judea, ground with great ceremony, the flour was passed through eleven sieves, each with meshes one finer than the other. Mixed with the "water of precept," twelve cakes of unleaven bread were made, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Each cake was made of two and a half quarts of flour and it was anointed with olive oil in the form of a cross. 2
"The House of Garmo," a family of the Kohathites, descendants of Levi's second son, 3 had a monopoly of making these cakes, which they deposited on a marble table in the porch of the sanctuary, where they remained till the Sabbath service began. The Talmud tells us the ceremony of placing them on the gold table in the Holies the image of our sanctuary.
" Four priests enter the Holies, two carrying each one of the piles of six breads, the others the two vases of incense Four priests went before them—two to take off the two rows of old breads, and two the old vases of incense. Those who brought in the bread and incense stood at the north side, facing southwards, they who were at the south side facing north, these lifted off, and those replaced the hands of those, being right over against the hands of those, as it is written, " Thou shalt set upon the table bread of the Presence before Me always." 4
Thus placing and removing the breads, the priests formed with their arms a cross, the sign of redemption found in all the Temple ceremonies to foretell the Redeemer's sacrifice.
"On a golden table in the porch of the sanctuary, the old breads were placed by two priests. Other priests then brought twenty-eight gold tubes, long like bottles, filled with wine. These they placed on the gold table in the Holies beside the new breads."
Then they removed the twelve golden flasks of wine, emptied them with mystic ceremony, filled them with new wine mixed with water, placed them on the credence table with the twelve breads before the Lord in his holy sanctuary, where they rested till the next Sabbath. This wine and water are mentioned many times in the Old Testament under the name of "drink offerings." The priests drank this wine while eating the cakes. 5
This bread and wine, the latter mixed with water, thus placed before the Lord in the Holies, foretold the bread and wine of the Last Supper and of the Mass. This is the reason the wine is mixed with water, the latter foretelling the water flowing from the pierced side of the dead Christ.
Now the ministering priests of that "course" gather round the golden table in the Priests' Court, whereon the bread and wine are placed and each receives his portion.
"Three times a year all the twenty-four orders of priests were alike entitled to share the pieces of offerings of the festival, and in the proposition bread, and on the feast of Pentecost, the distributors say to each priest: " Here is leavened bread for thee, "and" here is unleavened bread for thee." "If the festival falls before, or after Sabbath, all the twenty-four orders share alike in the proposition bread. But if a day intervenes between the Sabbath and the festival, the order, whose regular turn it was, received ten of the proposition breads, and the loiterers receive two breads. At other times of the year the order in which they entered on their duty received six." 6
The high priest passes by, and each priest hands to him a part of his bread, and they give him some of the wine in honor of his pontifical office. Then they stand by the table of gold and eat the bread and drink the wine held most sacred because for a week they had reposed before the Lord the Shekina in his Holies. No one but a priest could eat this bread, he must be free from all blemish 7 he must not have cohabited with his wife. 8 Thus they foretold our unmarried clergy and the weekly renewal of the Eucharist in our churches. 9
Now let us see the wine of Temple, Last Supper and Mass. Writers say the vine was cultivated before the flood, that then they ate the grape like other fruits. The early Church fathers write that Noe was the first to press the grape and make wine, and that he did not know its intoxicating effects when he took too much. 10
Wine, in Hebrew yagin, "pressed out," "grape juice," typified excessive sorrow and physical pains which make men stagger. Thus the Saviour speaking to his Father of his sufferings and death said: "Let this chalice pass from me." The Holy Ghost drew back the curtain hiding the future and revealed the Crucified when Noe blessed and cursed the nations—the races—in his three sons. The mighty movements of mankind then begun have continued till oar day.
Noe, the second Adam, father of mankind, high priest and image of Jesus Christ, planted a vineyard, pressed the grapes and made wine. Not knowing its effect he took too much, lay naked in his tent, 11 an image of our High Priest stripped of his garments, crucified, dead on the cross. Ham, Noe's second son mocked his father as the Jews mocked the dying Christ. His two other sons, Sem and Japheth with a cloak, covered their father's nakedness. 12
Rising from his sacrifice, Noe blessed and cursed, as Christ was to rise from the tomb after his sacrifice and bless his followers with the gift of the Holy Ghost, while the curse of his blood rested on the Jewish nation.
"Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." 13 He could not curse Ham, for God had blessed the three sons and the curse rested on Canaan's children. Ham's sons settled Palestine, which they cursed with the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. But Ham's tribes settled Africa, and find their vocation as slaves and servants waiting on the white men. Cursed in the passion their father mocked in Noe, the African race love to serve as servants to the other races. Living since in deepest degradation, among them never rose religion, literature, invention, genius, or progress. The other races will not receive on an equality one in whose veins flows their tainted blood.
Prophetic words the Holy Ghost pronounced through Noe on the sons who covered him. "Blessed be the Lord God of Sem, let Canaan be his servant." Thus he determined that the "Lord God," Jesus Christ would be born of Sem's race, the Jews. Christ's genealogy shows him as son of Sem. 14 He is the glory of the Jewish Semites. The other Semitic nations settled Asia, where they have remained stagnant, conservative, unprogressive, hardly improving since the patriarchs, for they were not blessed with the grace of change.
To Japheth: " The enlarging " or " The white man," Noe said " May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Sem, and Canaan be his servant." 15 The Hebrew has here for " God " the word " Shekina," the Holy Ghost, who spoke through Noe and gave Japhet's sons, the white races, that colonizing instinct, civilization, progress, advancement, invention, superiority—the unrest of bright minds which down the ages lifted them to the highest prosperity, culture and refinement. This is the reason the white men are so superior to the other races. God foresaw the Jews would reject Christ, that the white men would receive him, and thus he prepared them for their mission to receive the Gospel and carry on the Church.
Before this blessing Moses always mentioned these three brothers according to their age, Sem first and Japhet last; after the benediction the last is given first as the leader of the others. God later blessed the Jews through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the patriarchs, gave them the instinct of money-making that they might use the power of wealth in missionary labors. They rejected the call to Christianity when they killed Christ. But God works without repentance, the blessing still rests on them while the white races receive and administer the Church they refused.
This is the first lesson we read in wine Noe was the first to make. His son Sem, called Melchisedech, added bread and sacrificed the bread and wine of the Last Supper and the Mass on Sion. Now let us see that wine of patriarch, tabernacle, Temple and the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Palestine, stretching from the high Lebanon mountains in the north, their tops nearly always crowned with snow, to the deep valleys of the Dead Sea, 1,300 feet below the ocean, rejoices in varied climates, and produces dry wines of temperate climates, as well as the sweet wines of torrid zones. Hundreds of times the vine or the wine is mentioned in the Bible as flourishing in Palestine.
Moses' law has special rules. The Hebrew farmer was forbidden to plant any other crop in his vineyard, he could not use the grapes, or make wine, before the vineyard was five years old; but the widow, the orphan, and the stranger passing could eat all they wanted, but it was against the law to take any away. Priests while serving in the Temple, Nazarites while their vow lasted, judges while on the bench, Essenes and Rechabites were forbidden wine. Let us see the grape and the wine.
The grape is a native of the Orient, where it grows as a shrub like a dwarf tree. It was cultivated from the days of Noe and wine spread among all ancient nations. It was in the beginning a desert plant, where it produces, when carefully cultivated, great crops, the fruit being in California more numerous than the leaves. It grows wood and leaves in cold climates, where it must be sustained with trellis and stake. But in its native climate it grows like a little tree.
In Palestine, especially in the north, the vineyards were on the north side of the hills facing south. In the fall all the members of the family gathered the grapes with song Psalm and canticle, and carried them to the press, generally in the center of the vineyard.
On steep hillside, of stone and cement, they built the press and receptacles for the grapes, so the "must" might flow down into the lower receptacle, both being about six feet in diameter and four deep. Into the upper they threw the grapes mixed with the stems and barefooted men, sometimes naked, danced on them till all were crushed. When the grapes were of the red variety, of which the clarets are made, they looked as though they were covered with blood.
Six centuries before he came, the prophet Isaias saw a vision of Jesus Christ in his agony in Gethsemane " The Winepress,'' when as the Scape-Goat of mankind, the world's sins were placed on him as though he himself had committed them. And ten thousand times deeper than we do he blushed with shame till his blood flowed out every pore, covering him with crimson gore, and the prophet thought he had treaded the red grape of the Winepress, Gethsemane. 16
When the upper vat was filled with grapes and stems, thus the men, with psalm, and song, and jest, trampled them with their feet till every berry was broken, and the whole became a mass of grape-juice hulls and seeds. Then for about ten days it is left to ferment. It must be frequently mixed so all parts may come in contact with skins and stems, which bear the fermenting fungus yeast plant which floats in the air.
In warm climates the grapes are very sweet, in cold regions the grape does not develop so much grape sugar, —the first produce the sweet and the latter the "dry" wine. The fermentation of the sweet wines ceases before all the sugar ferments and that is the reason they taste so sweet. In the "dry" wine all the sugar changes into alcohol—hence these two great classes of wines, which divide into various families bearing different names according to climate, places where they are grown, age, care, etc.
Let us go a little deeper, for wine is one of the elements of the Mass and few understand how it is made. The yeast plant we mentioned feeds on the grape sugar and changes it into ethel "noble" alcohol, formed of carbon, 2, oxygen, 2, and hydrogen 2, and which when distilled becomes brandy. Grape-wine, is the oldest, finest and most harmless of all fermented beverages. Wine never forms a habit; no matter how much a person drinks of it he will not crave it. It is soothing to tired nerves, it induces sleep. Hence it has been celebrated in all ages.
Sugar of fruits, grains, etc., when fermented produce another kind of alcohol found in liquors, beers, etc., which acts on the nerves, cooks the albumen white so they cannot function, and develops into a mania for drink. It is a poison, slow but deadly. In modern days were discovered these fermented drinks which seem to ruin more people than wars or famine. Among the wine-drinking nations you will hardly ever see an intoxicated person. The Mass wine must not be taken as composed of its varied chemical elements, but as one single fluid, as a human being is one person, although composed of soul and body, composed of many materials—the one living soul uniting the materials of the body, giving them its life. Thus the form of the wine united in one all the
materials and fluids of which it is composed till it was changed into the Blood of Christ at the Last Supper as it is now in the Mass.
Let us return to the ancient world. When the Hebrews had fermented their wine in the upper vat, they drew it into a lower vat, leaving skins, seeds, etc., in the higher fermenting receptacle. Here the wine was left for a time carefully covered till it was still more purified by depositing in the bottom the rough matters, which made it taste harsh and crude. Then it was put in large earthen or stone vessels. Spring and fall it worked again, throwing down deposits of muddy matters. After a year or more, the wine had purified itself and was ready for use. Wine poisoned with drugs never shows a deposit, never changes. A sign of good wholesome wine is a dark deposit on the bottom of the vessel.
Great vessels, called amphorse, were kept in wine cellars, but small farmers, dealers, and the poor, kept their wine in bottles made of goatskin taken whole from the body, cutting only around the feet and neck, which, after tanning, they tied with strings. Wine and water bottles made that way may be seen to-day in Mexico, Palestine and in the Orient. Wine working or fermenting throws off carbonic acid gas which would burst such bottles, and that was why Christ said new wine should be put in new bottles but old Avine in old bottles. 17
Sweet grapes, when dried are called raisins. 18 The latter soaked in water make "new wine." 19 Frequently in our day Jews make wine for the Passover from raisins, especially when they are not sure of the purity of wine on the market. Strict Jews do not like to use Passover wine bought from or made by Gentiles.
Ancient receptacles for wine made of skins are almost as old as wine itself, and are frequently mentioned in Scripture. The Iliad tells us servants bore wine in bottles of sheepskin on their shoulders to banquets, from which the guests' goblets were filled. Herodotus writes that wine in pig or goat skins was carried from place to place. The Romans used leathern bottles large enough to hold a man, and Pompeii shows a mural picture of an enormous leather bag like a boat on a wine cart, while two men draw off the wine into amphorae. Roman politicians used to deal out wine wholesale to their clients.
Leather bottles are still used in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Mexico, etc., linking modern wine-making with the dim past. The road from Athens to Petros winds for miles through great Grecian vineyards stretching along the gulf which ends in Corinth where the canal begins, and to whose people St. Paul sent his famous Epistles.
Famous feasts, where wine flowed as water, are given in history. The coronation of Ptolemy Philadelphus excelled in pomp and pageantry every procession recorded in history. Ptolemy wanted to dazzle his subjects that they might forget the domestic crimes with which he ascended the throne. For that reason the feast cost over $500,000, opening with the figure of the morning star, and closing with that of Hesperus—the evening star.
The beautiful Egyptian climate furnished abundance of grapes and wine. Eighty thousand troops—infantry and cavalry—clad in gorgeous uniforms, marched to sound of flute and song, while sixty satyrs, under Silenus, bore the symbolic chalice, the great cantharus, in which men treaded out the grapes flooding the streets with must. A car, thirty-seven by twenty-one feet, bore a gigantic uter of leopard skins, holding 24,000 gallons, filled with wine, the hides strengthened with bronze rods. From this colossal receptacle the populace filled their vessels and drank as the car passed.
The scholastic name of the wine uter was butis, and a small one the diminutive buticula, from which came our word bottle. A black leathern bottle called a "black-jack" was used in England, sometimes being lined with silver, the origin of covering flasks with leather. Some of them were formed like a boot, and French prisoners said "the English drank out of their boots."
As arts advanced, bottles were made of clay, glass, etc. In Pompeii you will find great earthenware amphorae, large, enough to hold more than a barrel used by the unfortunate people to hold wine, oil, etc. These great vessels were coated within and without with pitch to prevent leaks, and to keep the liquids sound. Large ones were made in pits baked within with a fire, while the smaller ones were made
on a potter's wheel. The largest sometimes held as much as a hundred gallons. When wooden round barrels were made we know not. In wine countries great round vats hold the wine. In wineries of California you will see some holding nearly 100,000 gallons. One was formed of cement, in the side of a hill, holding 500,000 gallons, and when finished, they held a dance in it.
1 Antiq. XII. ii. 8.
2 Edersheim, Temple, p. 155.
3 Gen. xlvi. 11; I. Par. ix. 32; Talmud, Shekalim, V. 1.
4 Talmud, Men. xi. 7.
5 See Edersheim, Temple, 158, 241, 242, 243; Talmud, etc.
6 Succah, 88 to 91.
7 See Heb. x. 1.
9 See S. Augustine, Contra Faustum, L. vi. ix., L. xxxii. x. xi.
10 Gen ix. 21; Migne, Cursus Completus, S. Scripturæ, tii. 1254-1256, etc.
11 Gen. ix. 21,
12 Gen. ix.
13 Gen, ix. 25.
14 Luke iii.
15 Gen. ix. 27.
16 Isaias Ixiii 1--6, etc.