Wines, E.C. Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews with an Introductory Essay on Civil Society and Government. New York: G.P. Putnam & Co., 1853. xvi, 640 pp. Reprint available July 2005 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-527-0. $95. * Wines [1806-1879] begins with the assumption that "next to the birth and mission of Jesus Christ, the existence and institutions of the Hebrew people are the most important event in universal history" (Preface, iii). His exploration of the Hebraic experience finds a senate, commons, and Chief Magistrate. He stresses the divine origin of these institutions throughout and stresses their relation to the current social and legal order. Though marred by faulty history and anachronism the spirit of his argument was quite appealing to contemporary readers; among those who expressed their admiration for this work were Benjamin Butler, Levi Woodbury and William Kent. Wines, an expert on penology the author of more than a dozen works on legal and religious subjects, was a Congregational pastor, professor of ancient languages at Washington College, Pennsylvania, president of the City University of St. Louis.