Monday, 29 December 2014

How Christ said the first mass, By Rev. James L. Meagher, D.D. Part 12.

Grape juice called "must" was drunk in the vineyard by the workmen. The Hebrews sometimes became intoxicated. 1 The Passover service states that each guest must drink four chalices of wine to fulfil the law. Sometimes this was too much, and they mixed the wine with water—when this began we cannot find, but thus began the custom of mixing wine with water. Although Mohammed forbade his followers to drink intoxicating beverages, still when they do, they mix them with water, saying a prayer as did the Jews.
Vinegar, "sour" or "black wine," was also called wine. 2 and mixed with water it was drunk. It was offered Christ on the cross, but he refused it because being a Nazarite, he was forbidden by the Law to take it. 4
Wine, water, oil and fluids the Jews kept in large earthen vessels the Romans called ampulæ, sometimes holding a barrelful. When filled with wine, they were sealed with clay, a cloth was stretched over the mouth of those holding oil, but when filled with water some aromatic herbs were scattered over the surface to keep it sweet. Later the mouth of the ampula was made smaller, and became our jug. The water Christ changed into wine was poured into six large ampulæ.
The first drinking vessel was a simple cup, later a handle was added at the side. A large cup found in the ruins of Troy, now in the museum of Athens, once belonging to Agamemnon is of massive solid gold. Wine-cups, shaped like the calyx of a lily are seen on the monuments of Persepolis and other places, showing that the chalice was used in very olden times. 5 Arabs of our day use drinking vessels of red earthenware like a vase, four holes being in the bottom of the deep lip so the fluid will not flow faster than you can drink. The chalice now used at Mass is about the size and form of the vessel used at the Last Supper.
In Scripture the chalice is first found as the wine-cup into which Pharaoh's butler pressed grapes and handed to the king. 6 No doubt Noe used such a chalice, when he did not know the effects of fermented wine.
The chalice of Temple and Passover used in the former to catch the victim's blood, and at the latter to hold the wine, was called in Hebrew the cos. At Passover a large chalice, called the Gabia, was at the place of the master of the feast, while the guests used the cos. When each one had taken his three chalices of wine mixed with water, the master filled again his large chalice with wine. Then with a blessing over the vessel of water he said a prayer and mixed his wine with water. Whence the blessing and prayer are over the water at Mass and not over the wine.
Then the master drank from his large chalice, and handed it round to each guest who drank from it. This was the end of the Passover. After this fourth chalice of wine was partaken of there was no other ceremony, and the Talmud states that a dessert was forbidden. This was the chalice Christ consecrated into his Blood and gave to his Apostles the night of the Last Supper, as we will describe later.
Following the Last Supper, in the early Church, the consecrated chalice was passed to the clergy to drink from, and the deacon brought it to the laity. The custom is still seen in the Oriental churches. In Greek and Russian rites it is even given to infants. Because of abuses this was forbidden in the Latin Church and our present discipline obtained.
New let us see how honored was the water mixed with wine in the Temple ceremonial, foretelling the water mixed with Mass wine.
"There was not a court in Jerusalem that was not illuminated by the lights of the water-drawing. Pious and distinguished men danced before the people with lighted candles in their hands, and sang hymns and lauds before them, and the Levites accompanied them with harps, psalteries, cymbals and numberless musical instruments. On the fifteen steps, which led into the women's court, corresponding to the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, stood the Levites with their musical instruments and sang. At the upper gate, which leads down from the court of Israel to the women's court, stood two priests with trumpets.
"When the cock first crowed, they blew a blast, a long note, and a blast. This they repeated when they reached the tenth step, and again the third time when they got into the court. They went on blowing their trumpets as they went, until they reached the gate that leads out to the east, when they turned westward with their faces towards the Temple and said: 'Our ancestors, who were in this place, turned their backs on the Temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east, for they worshiped the sun towards the east, but we lift our eyes to God. We belong to God and raise our eyes to God.' 7
"A golden pitcher that held three logs was filled with water from the brook Siloh. (It is now called Siloam, a little village at the south of Jerusalem). When they came with it to the water-gate, they blew a blast, a long note, and again a blast. The priest then ascended the stair of the altar, and turned to the left. Two silver basins stood there. R. Jehudah said they were of gipsum, but had a dark appearance from the wine. Each was perforated with a small hole at the bottom like a nostril, the one for the wine somewhat wider, the one for water narrower, that both might be emptied at once. The one to the west was used for water, the other to the east for the wine." 8
"He who has not witnessed the rejoicings at the water-drawing has through his whole life witnessed no real rejoicing. At the expiration of the first holiday of the festival, they descended into the women's court, where a great transformation was made. Golden candelabra were placed there, with four basins at the top of each, and four ladders were put to each candelabra, on which stood four lads from the rising youth of the priesthood, holding jars of oil containing a hundred and twenty logs, with which they replenished each basin."
The Talmud says the Hebrew maidens used to give a dance in the vineyards, and the young men went to see them and choose their future wives. "Never were there any more joyous festivals in Israel than the 15th of Abib (the day Christ was crucified) and the Day of Atonement, for on them the maidens of Jerusalem used to go out dressed in white garments—borrowed ones, however, in order not to cause shame to those who had none of their own. The king's daughter borrowed from the daughter of the high priest, the daughter of the latter would borrow from the daughter of the Segan, assistant high priest, the Segan's daughter borrowed from the daughter of the priest who was anointed for war, 9 and she in turn would borrow from the daughter of an ordinary priest. The daughter of the ordinary Israelites would borrow one from another, in order not to put to shame those who had no clothes of their own. 10
"These clothes were to be previously washed, and thus the maidens went out and danced in the vineyards, saying: 'Young men, look and observe well whom you are about to choose as a spouse, regard not beauty alone but rather look to a virtuous family, 'for false is grace, and vain is beauty, a woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised.' 11
"The pretty ones among the maidens would say: 'Regard but beauty alone, because a woman is made for beauty alone.' Those who were of good family would say: 'Rather look to a good family, for women are made but to bear children, and those of good family produce good children.' The homely ones would say: 'Make your selections only for the glory of heaven, but provide liberally for us.' " 12
The Talmud says that to this dance in the vineyards, when the wine finished fermenting, made by men treading the grapes red with must or grape juice, relate the words of Solomon foretelling Christ in his scourging all covered with blood and crowned with thorns: "Go forth yc daughters of Sion, and see the King, 'The Peaceful' 13 in the diadem wherewith his mother 14 crowned him in the day of his espousals." 15
The Mosaic law forbade members of different tribes to intermarry, but on this day of the dance the prohibition was removed, says the Talmud. 16 At a dance the 15th of Abib, in the vineyard, one of Christ's ancestors, Joachim, married into Aaron's family, for he who was to be sacrificed this 15th day of Abib was not only a Prince of David's royal race, but also a Temple priest. He therefore combined in his personality royalty, priesthood, and united the glories of the Temple with the dynasty of Hebrew kings.
Rabbi Simeon, son of that Gamaliel, who was St. Paul's teacher, in a Mishna of the Talmud, gives the following as a fragment of the maidens' song: 17

"Around in circle gay, the Hebrew maidens see 
  From them our happy youths their partners choose. 
  Remember, beauty soon its charms must loose 
  And seek to win a maid of fair degree.

  When fading grace and beauty low are laid, 
  Then praise shall her who fears the Lord await. 
  God doth bless her handiwork—and in the gate 
  Her works do follow her, it shall be said."

Now let us see the origin and history of the holy oil with which Christ anointed the apostles at the Last Supper, and which is used in the administration of the Sacraments.
From remotest times came down the custom of anointing with oil persons, objects and religious articles. When Jacob saw the ladder like a cross, reaching from earth to heaven, God resting at the top—a vision of the Crucified he set up the stone pillow as a monument" pouring oil on it." 18
When God blessed him, foretelling that from him would be born races and kings, Jacob" set up a monument of stone, in the place where God spoke to him pouring drink-offerings upon it, wine and water, and pouring oil thereon, and called the place Bethel "House of God." 19
God told Moses to anoint the tabernacle with all its utensils. With a special holy oil Aaron, his sons and priests of his family were ordained to the priesthood. With oil Samuel anointed Saul and David to be rulers over Israel. Every official of church or state—priest, Levite, rabbi, or judge was inducted into his office with laying on of hands and anointed with oil, in Christ's day.
These officials foretold the Messiah; Christ "the Anointed," Jesus "Jehovah will Save," the "Hope of Israel, the "Expectation of the nations," who was to come and built an empire of religion spreading over all the earth.
From far beyond historic times oils, unguents, pomades, or perfumed mixtures had been used to anoint the body, 20 beautify the complexion and cure blemishes. But these differed from the holy mixture Moses made by God's command.
The Temple sacred oil was composed of myrrh, cinnamon, cassia and olive oil mixed in mystic manner. With it priest, king, and all Temple furniture were anointed. In Greek this mixture was called chrism from the word chrio, "to anoint," foretelling the Saviour, in Greek the Christ, in Hebrew the Messiah, "The Anointed," not with oil but with the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit. 21
This holy mixture was so sacred, that they were forbidden to use it except as laid down in the law, and the one who would give it to the stranger would be killed. 22 A hundred and eighty times it is mentioned in the Old Testament. Let us see the materials of this chrism. 23
Myrrh, in Hebrew mor, eleven times found in the Old Testament, was one of the gifts the Persian high priests offered Christ to foretell his death, 24 as its Greek name, Smyrna, shows us. The prophecy was fulfilled when the soldiers offered him, on the cross wine mixed with myrrh, 25 and when it was used to embalm his body. 26 Herodotus writes the Egyptians when embalming used to fill the abdomen of the dead with myrrh. 27
According to Herodotus, 28 the tree producing myrrh, both wild and cultivated, grows in Arabia. In Egypt it was called bal, in the Sanscrit bola, in India bol, in Arabia myrrh; showing how ancient was the use of myrrh.
Travellers in Arabia describe the gum exuding from the bark of the Balsamodendron myrrha, a low thorny ragged-looking tree, with bright trifoliated leaves like an acacia tree of the desert. The tree is related to the citrous family on one side, and to the spruces on the other.
The yellow soft gum exudes through the bark, especially when wounded, dries and becomes dark reddish, brittle or brown according to age. It has an aromatic scent, easily dissolves in alcohol, and may be triturated in water. From remotest times it was used internally as a medicine, and externally for skin diseases, sores and ulcers. Powdered and mixed with wine, it became a soporific, deadened pain, and was given criminals about to be executed to ease their pains. This was the reason the soldiers offered it to Christ, who refused it because he would not deaden his sufferings with any anaesthetic, and because he was a Nazarite, and forbidden wine.
Balm, or balsam, "medicinal gum," or according to the Hebrew tsori, "royal oil," was one of the articles the Ismaelite caravan was bringing to Egypt, when his brothers sold Joseph to them. 29 Jacob sent a present of balm, storax, myrrh, turpentine, etc., to Joseph prime minister of Egypt, not knowing he was his son. 30 This balm grew in Galaad, and was used as a medicine by the Hebrews. Jeremias, foretelling the calamities which will fall on the Jews, asks: "Is there no balm in Galaad, or is there no physician there? Why then is not the wound of my daughter closed?" 31
This balm, used as a medicine, was imported into Egypt, Tyre and along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Luther translated the word by "salve," "ointment," "mastic." The Jewish rabbis Junius and Tremellius use the words balm or balsam, and say its Hebrew word, tsori, means the mastic tree of which the botanic name is Pistacia lentiscus. Others hold it is the Amyris opobalsamum —the balsam of Mecca. Dr. Hooker identifies it with the Balanites, he saw growing at Jericho. 32
When in the spring of 1903 the writer visited Jericho, now a little village, with its four hotels, he saw the shrub growing in the gardens irrigated by the waters of the great spring higher up, to the west, bursting from the desert, under the Lenten Mountain, where Christ fasted forty-days. You will also notice there the Rhamnus, a low shrub covered with long sharp thorns with which they made the thorny crown for Christ.
In the desert round the Dead Sea, and down through Arabia grows the Balanites Egyptiaca, a low evergreen shrub with numerous branches and a few small leaves. These desert plants, in place of sap, have gum like the desert plants of western America. This plant was cultivated in Palestine at Jericho "Fragrant", at Engaddi "the Goat's-spring," in the ravines to the west of the Dead Sea, in the Arabian deserts, but especially around Mecca and Medina.
Wood and leaves are filled with balm. The flowers have a sweet scent, the fruit is like a little unripe walnut covered with a dry skin, but filled with a fluid as thick as honey, with a sharp and bitter taste. The Arabs gather these nuts, pound them in a mortar, and put the pulp into boiling water. When the oil rises to the top, it is skimmed off, and used internally for disease, and externally for wounds and skin troubles. This is the best and purest Balm.
During the summer season, they cut the bark with glass or flint, for steel knives kill the shrub. The white gum oozes out, soon turns green, then like amber, and finally becomes like solidified honey. It has a strong, but agreeable odor, and a bitter and astringent taste. When burned its smell is strikingly sweet and penetrating, filling the whole place with its agreeable perfume. It is the basis of the incense used in Church functions.
These "principal and chosen spices," 33 as St. Jerome says the Chaldaic and Septuagint versions of the Bible mean, distilled with all the science then known, mixed with olive oil, formed the chrism, with which in Moses' day all the ministers, the tabernacle and its furniture were anointed.
The priesthood of the Temple of the time of Christ were looked on as inferior in honor among the people to the priests of the days of David and Solomon. The synagogue Rabbis were held in higher esteem by some than Temple priests. The second Temple had not the flask of holy chrism handed down from Aaron's day in Solomon's Temple, for Jeremias had hid the ark in a cave on Mount Nebo, where Moses died, which they could not find. 34 Priests were set apart for their ministry by vesting them in their sacerdotal robes and imposing hands on their heads—they claimed that the anointment of their fathers with the holy oil in the first Temple was sufficient for their sons in the priesthood. 35
Jewish physicians used to anoint the sick with olive oil mixed with wine. R. Simeon Ben Elieser says: R. Meir permitted the mingling of wine and oil and to anoint the sick on the Sabbath. But when once he was sick and we would do the same to him he would not allow it. 36 They anointed the head for headache 37 and they still use oil in the East for boils, etc. 38 We see that when St. James 39 gave the doctrine of the sacrament of extreme-unction, anointing the sick was not unknown to the early Christians converted from Judaism.
After imposing their hands on the head of the high priest to be consecrated as we have described, they poured the holy chrism on his head which was to wear the Aaronic miter. The Machabee priest-kings had made the miter into the form of a tiara with triple crown from which came the Pope's tiara. They poured the holy oil on his head so the ointment might flow down on his beard, to honor that mark of manhood, they incensed at the Passover. 40 From that ceremonial comes down to us the rite of anointing the bishop on his head when he is consecrated.
The first blessing God gave mankind was on marriage. 41 Afterwards the patriarchs blessed with the laying on of hands. Later oil and chrism were added to the imposition of hands, to more clearly signify the Holy Spirit on Christ. Priest, Levite, king, prophet, Judge of the Sanhedrin, and rabbi were thus ordained, set apart, or inducted into office.
In his last sickness, Jacob laid his hands on the heads of his two grandsons, his arms forming a cross. 42 Moses extending his hands over Egypt, brought signs and plagues, which forced proud Pharao to let the Hebrews depart. The laying on of hands by which spiritual power is given was carried out in the ordination of the Temple priesthood.

1 Deut. xxxii. 42; Psalm Ixiv. 10; Isaias v. 11, 22; xxviii. 1, xxix. 9, xlix. 26; Jer. viii. 14, xxv. 27.

2 Ruth ii. 14.

3 Numb. vi. 3, 4,

4 Numb. vi. 3-20; Matt, xivii. 48.

5 III. Kings vii. 26.

Gen. xl. 11.

7 Babyl, Talmud, Tract Succah. 77.

8 Babyl, Talmud, Tract Succah, 72.

9 Deut xxi. 2.

10 See Babylonian Talmud, Taanith, iv. 80-81.

11 Prov. xxxi. 30.

12 Babylonian Talmud, Tract Taanith, Feasting, near end.

13 Solomon in Hebrew is " The Peaceful."

14 The .Jewish people.

15 Cant, of Cant. iii. 11.

16 See Babyl. Talmud, Taanith iv. 91.

17 See Migne, Cursus Comp. S. Scripturæ, iii. 1163, on Hebrew poetry.

18 Gen. xxviii. 18.

19 Gen. xxxv. 14-15.

20 Migne, Cursus Comp. iii. 1131; Edersheim, Sketches, 47; Life of Christ. 1, 565, 566.

21 Isaias ii. 2.

22 Exod. xxx. 33.

23 Migne, Cursus Comp. ii. 1841.

24 Matt. ii. 11.

25 Mark xv, 23.

26 John xix. 39.

27 Euterpe ii. 86.

28 III. 107; Dioscorides, 1.77; Theophrastus, ix. 4, Sec. 1; Diodorus II. 49; Strabo, Pliny, etc.

29 Gen. xxxvii. 25.

30 Gen. xlii. 11.

31 Jeremias viii. 22. See xlvi. 11; Eccl. xxiv. 20; Ezech. xxvii. 17.

32 See Edersheim, Life of Christ, vol. ii., p. 350.

33 Exod. xxx. 23.

34 Mach. ii. 4.

35 See Geikie, Life of Christ, i. 81.

36 Talmud in Hor. Heb. II. 415.

37 Pliny, xxiii. 38.

38 Russeger's Travels, I. 247.

39 v. 13-15.

40 Psalm cxxxii. 2.

41 Gen. i. 28.

42 Gen. xlviii. 13.