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THE USE OF WINE AT THE HOLY I COMMUNION. THE EEV. E. A. FXSHBOFRNE EXPIxAXNS HIS POSITION. It will be remembered that a few weeks ago a branch of the North Wales Women's Temperance Union was established at Newtown. The meeting was held when Miss Hood, Lady Henry Somerset's private secretary, gave an address setting forth the objects and aims of the Society. A considerable amount of surprise and rumour is prevalent as to the reason why the Rev E. A. Fiahbourne, rector of Newtown, himself a great temperance reformer, has publicly spoken against the society. It has been said that the rev gentleman will have nothing to do with the Union because the majority of its adherents are Dissenters. Knowing that this was an exaggerated statement a representative of the Express and Timet sought an interview with Mr Fiahbourne on Saturday. The Rector expressed his willingness to make public his views and sentiments on the ques- tion, and in answer to queries, said that when the movement was first initiated he was away from home. He received a communication from Mr C. E. Clark, secretary of the Newtown branch of the C.E.T.S., asking if the ladies connected with the Society could attend the meeting as Church representativea. Continuing, he says, "In reply I wrote to Mr Clark that I should be very glad indeed if it were possible to work together, but before the ladies should join I suggested that it would be better for them to find out what were the rules of the aooiety. A book of ruiea was sent to me, and on looking through it I discovered that one of the stated objects of the Union was to seek the use of non-intoxicating wine at the Lord's supper. When I read that it de- cided me that it was impossible for Churohpeople to join in the work." Perhaps you would kindly state for what reason ? Well, first, I presume non-intoxicating wine is unfermented wine, whereas I state there is no such thing really as unfermented wine. It must pass through the process of fermentation before it becomes wine. Just as the juice of the apple is not cider un- til fermentation has taken place, neither is the juice of the grape wine until it has undergone a similar process. What I object to is this That our blessed Saviour has commanded us to to take bread and wine in the celebration of the Holy Communion, and if anything is substituted for true wine, it is what I call profaning the Sacrament, and tamparinewith our Lord's command. Being God we have no right to alter any plain command of His. The point which is placed against this is that the wine mentioned in the Bible ia unfermented and non-intoxicating. That is quite contrary to my reading of the Scriptures. We have an instance of a great scandal arising in connection with the celebration of the Holy Communion. In the ear.iest ages—in Apostolic times—the Christians used to meet in the evening to partake of a love-feast, called the Agape. When that was over a portion of bread and wine was consecrated, and the Lord's Supper partaken of. The wealthier persons who came to the Agape disregarded some of their poorer brethren, and kept the food for themselves, and actually became drunken. St. Paul writes and reproves them for their terrible profanity, but he does not give one siugle hint that the wrong kind of wine was used, as can be seen by reading I Cor. xi., 17 and following veraes. My point ie that to substitute something fur wine in the celebration of the Holy Commu nion is tantamount to asserting that we are wiaor than God. They say take the case of the reformed drunkard, who again gets a taste of alcohol and returna to his sin. That is not for us to decide. Our Lord foresaw all these things, foresaw the sins of the whole world, foresaw the reformed drunkard and his temptations, and He has ordered us what we are to do the result we must leave with Him. It is not for us to say that something else would be better. St. Paul writing to Timothy, iii., 3 verse, gives directions about the character of a bishop, who should not be a brawler," that is, from the marginal reading, not quarrelsome over wine," and in the eighth verse of the same chapter the deacona are told not to "be given to much wiiae." If it does not mean to infer that the wine was intoxicating what does it matter whether a man drinks one glass or one gallon. In the same Epistle to Timothy, 5th chapter and 23rd verse (R.V ), it says "Be no longer a drinker of water, but use a little winefor thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." If the wine was simply the juice of the grape and unfermented it would be of no medical benefit at all. All through Scripture I find that the sin of drunkenness is denounced, but the gift, of wine is regarded aa a biesainsr from Grid ws • • ..nat is denounced ia not the use of wine, but its abase. I think that if our blessed Lord gives as a plain command to do any particular thing, we are bound to obey that command at all costs. We were ordered to use water in the Sacrament of Bap- tism, and bread and wine in the Sacament of the Lord's Supper, and nothing else. Anything which will what I call mutilate the SacrameDts is a dis- honour to our Lord. Here I am speaking as a Bible Christian, and not as Churchman, my authority being taken from the Bible." It is contrary to the teaching of the Church to use other than fermented wine, is it not? Yes, it is. At the Lambeth Conference, which took place in 1888, when there were two hundred biahopB gathered together, this subject was brought under discussion, and the following resolu- tion passed'" That the Biahopa assembled in this Conference declare that the use of unfermented juice of the grape, or any liquid other than true wine, diluted or undiluted, as the element in the adminis. tration of the 3UP in Holy Communion is unwarranted by the example of our Lord, and is an unauthorized departure from the custom of the Catholic Church." Then you feel that you cannot work with the Women's Temperance Union because of aonacientioua scruples P Just so. I am as anxious for Temperance reform as anybody, and will do all I can for such work, but as anybody, and will do all I can for such work, but I cannot work for the attainment of an object, which carried out, would be a violation of what I conceive to be a sacred command from our Lord. It is quite a mistake to imagine that I am in opposition to this work. I am perfectly willing to work with Dissen- ters on Temperance matters and any other social reform. I cannot conscientiously countenance this Union as it is affiliated with the North Wales Women's Temperance Union, and one of its princi- ples is to seek to get the use or fermented wine in administering the Holy Communion discontinued, and to substitute non-intoxicating wines, which I con- sider in opposition to the divine command."