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Decorums, that Religion required: And, not only lb, but other Persons, at this time, were likewise appointed to break Glass-Vessels, as a common Signal, to give the Company notice, that they had already drank enough, and were not permitted to run to Excess. Under this. Regulation, 'tis scarce imaginable, that the Guests, at a Jewish Marriage, could' be guilty of any Intemperance, and least of all at this in Galilee, where our Saviour's Presence and Observation, the Gravity of his Behaviour, and the Seasonableneft of his Discourse, may well be preium'd to heighten the Decorum, and to keep all the Company under a proper Restraint. The c what. therefore the Governor of ofw°e»S tneFeaft &ys t0 tne Bridegroom, in reMen have lation to the Water, that was turned inweiidrank, t0 \yinej a gyety Man, at the beginning, doth Jet forth good Wine, and When Men Have Well Drank, then that which is worse, is to be understood only as a general Representation of a Custom, usual at other Festivals, which was, to. bring the best Wine at first, and towards the conclusion, that which was worse; which Custom, (as the Governor tells him) was not observed here: for the Difference between this Entertainment
'Dr. Pearce's Vind. Part 3. p. 26. * John ii. 1 a.
and others is, that thou haft kept the good Wine until now. So that the Phrase, when Men have well drank, is only a Circumstance thrown in to illustrate the Comparison, or describe the latter end of a Feast, and has no manner of Reference to the Condition of the Company then present.
But, allowing the Words erstv /uaQuiduai to be a ©eseription of the Condition the Company was then in, yet will it by no means follow, that they had proceeded to any Intemperance, because the Words are equally capable of an innocent, as well as vicious Meaning. e M&vuv indeed, in its primitive Signification, means no more than drinking after the Sacrifice: and, as there is nothing in the Etymology, that determines this to be done to any Excess, or beyond the proper Bounds of Joy in a Festival; so there are several Instances in Scripture, wherein it was certainly done according to the Rules of Sobriety and Moderation. Thus (to mention one out of many) in the LXX Version ofGenefis, where it is said, that Joseph'?, Brethren i drank and were merry with him, the Words are e/uiQvdncru,v juarduru, and yet the Circumstances of the Feast plainly shew that no Excess, or the least apX 3 proach
• Dr. Tearcel part 3. p, 17. \ Gen. xliii. 34,
proach to it, is intended by the Expression. For they knew him not then to be any other than the Governor #f Ægypt, nay, it is said 8 that they -mere afraid, as tho' he sought occasion again/I them, to fall upon them, and take them for Bondmen; and therefore we may well pre-r fume, that they were too much upon their guard, and sollicitous about their own Safety, to give any way to Intern^ perance in his Presence. And if the Expression here, and in h several other Passages, may be taken in a virtuous Sense, (unless we can imagine that St. John design'd to expose his Master's Behaviour on this Occasion) we cannot but conclude, that he intended we Ihould understand him in the most favourable manner, Christ But let us for once suppose the worst;
might i*-VfZt That notwithstanding these wise go"o the Orders and Institutions, in the CelebraMarrinsr, tion of Matrimonial Feasts among the TMdw*hy3r«w» some would be still apt torunconcem'd counter, and indulge their Appetites *P g°« to Excess; yet it will not therefore follow, that our Lord could be any Partner in the Guilt. In publick Assemblies of Men of promiseuous Tempers, we fee daily, that, though the vicious
part part may pollute and debauch themselves by Intemperance, Persons of a contrary Disposition do innocently partake of all regular and lawful Refreshments, without any Stain to their Virtue and Character. And though a good Man would not delight in such Societies, nor a prudent Man rashly and heedlessly frequent them ; yet since our Saviour, who by the unspotted Purity of his Nature, was secured against every bad Impression, came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance, and for this purpose, must be supposed to take all proper Occasions of meeting and conversing with them , since now he was about to open his Commission, and had here a fair Opportunity of working his first Miracle in the Presence, and for the Conviction of numerous Spectators; and, lastly, since the Invitation, in all Probability, came from his own Kindred; for Tradition tells us, that the Persons, whose Wedding was then celebrated, were Alphœus or Cleopas, and her, who, in Scripture, is called, Mary, the Sifter of our Lord's Mother (as it seems not unlikely from his Mother's being so Ibllicitous for the supply of Wine, and taking upon her to direct the Servants of the House, that they were either her Relations, or very intimate Acquaintance) X 4 fmce
f Gen, xliii. 34. * JVbitbf-s Annot. in lor,
since our Saviour, I lay, was in this Situation, it was highly expedient, both in discharge of his prophetick Office, and the Obligations of Friendship or Consanguinity, for him to vouchsafe his Presence at this Wedding, when he was Invited. That he Had he indeed, when he was there, cncou- given Encouragement to Intemperance ExctTM amongtnc Guests, (even though it had there, Veen by an Act of Generosity) much then might have been said in Diminu-» tion of his Character: But, since the Supply of Wine, wherewith he miraculously furnished them, will, upon Enquiry, appear, neither so large in its Quantity, nor so superfluous in its use, as is pretended, all Suggestions of this horrid Nature, that our Saviour administer'd to their Excesses, and was himself a little intoxicated, mould for ever be silenced, and detested. k We indeed, in our Translation, lay, that the WaterPots, wherein the Wine was created, contained two or three Firkins a-peace -y That the but the Learned of all Communions have, ^swlal of late, looked a little more nicely into •which he' the fjLtlprrht, ox Measure here lpofcen of, supplied, and have brought it much lower, than a £*V TM* Brkin. The LXX Translators»use it for Urge. theBath of the Jews,a.nd that (according
* Dr, Pearce's Vind. Part 3. p. 30. 'a Chron> iy. }\