- Foundation and Constitution (§ 1).
- Branch Alliances (§ 2).
- The Week of Prayer (§ 3).
- Conferences, National and General (§ 4).
- Appeals for Religious Liberty (§ 5).
The Evangelical Alliance is a voluntary asso-
ciation of Evangelical Christians of different
churches and countries to manifest and promote
the union of Christian believers and advance the
religious liberty. It was founded, after
several preparatory meetings and conferences, espe
cially one at Liverpool in 1845, in an enthusiastic
gathering held in Freemason's Hall
1. Founds- in London, Aug. 19-23, 1846. Eight
and hundred Christians were present
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Inde
pendents, Methodists, Baptists, Lu
therans, Reformed, Moravians, and
others, including, from Great Britain, Edward
Bickersteth and Lord Wriothesley Russell (Angli
can), Jabez Bunting and William Arthur (Wea
leyan), Drs. Chalmers, Candlish, Norman McLeod,
and Thomas Guthrie
(Presbyterian), Drs.. Steane,
and Baptist W. Noel (Baptist), Thomas Binney,
John Angell James, and Dr. Leifchild (Independ
ent); from France, Adolphe Monod and G. Fisch;
from Germany F. W. Krummacher and Prof.
Tholuck; from Switzerland, Prof. La Harps; and
from the United States, Samuel H. Cox and Will
iam Patton. Sir Culling E. Eardly
became the first president of the British branch.
Nine doctrinal articles were adopted, as follows:
1. The divine inspiration, authority, and sufficiency of
the Holy Scriptures.
2. The right and duty of private judgment in the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
3. The Unity of the Godhead, and the Trinity of the Persons therein.
4. The utter depravity of human nature in consequence
of the Fall.
b. The incarnation of the Son of God, his work of atonement for the sins of mankind, and his mediatoriel intercession and reign.
8. The justification of the sinner by faith alone.
7. The work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion and
sanctification of the sinner.
8. The immortality of the soul the resurrection of the
body, the judgment of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
with the eternal
blessedness of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.
9. The divine institution of the Christian ministry, and
the obligation and perpetuity of the ordinances of Baptism
and the Lord's Supper.
These articles were not intended to be a binding
creed or confession, but simply as expression of the
essential agreement of Evangelical Christians whom
it seemed desirable to embrace in the Alliance.
Some have regarded the statement as too liberal,
others as too narrow (art. 9 excluding the Quakers),
while still others would have preferred no doctrinal statement, or at beat only the Apostles'
Creed. The American branch, at its organization
(1867; see below, § 2), adopted the nine London
articles, with the following explanatory and quali
, That in forming an Evangelical Alliance for the
United States in
cooperative union with other branches
of the Alliance, we have no intention to give rise to s new
denomination; or to effect an amalgamation of Churches,
except in the way of facilitating personal Christian inter
course and a mutual good understanding; or to interfere in
any way whatever with the internal affairs of the various
denominations; but simply to bring individual Christians
into closer fellowship and cooperation, on the basis of the
spiritual union which already exists in the vital relation of
Christ to the members of his body in all ages and countries.
, That in the same spirit we propose no new
creed, but taking broad, historical, and Evangelical catholic
ground, we solemnly reaffirm and profess our faith in all
the doctrines of the inspired word of God, and in the con
of doctrines as held by all true Christians from the
beginning. And we do more especially affirm our belief in
the divine-human person and atoning work of our Lord aged
Savior Jesus Christ
as the only and sufficient source of sal
vation, as the heart and soul of Christianity, and as the
center of all true Christian union and fellowship.
, That, with this explanation, and in the spirit
of a just Christian liberality in regard to the minor differ
ences of theological schools and religious denominations, we
also adopt, as a summary of the consensus
of the various
Evangelical Confessions of Faith, the Articles and Explanatory
Statement set forth and agreed on by the Evangelical
Alliance at its formation in London, 1848, and approved by
the separate European organisations.
Branch Alliances have been formed in Great
Britain, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland,
Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Greece, and
Breach ernong the missionaries in Turkey,
Alliances. Egypt, and India; also in the United
States, Canada, Australia, Brazil,
Mexico, and among the Protestant missionaries in
Japan and China. There is no central organization
with controlling authority; and the General Alliance
appears in active operation only as it has met
in its general conferences (see below, § 4). The
various national branches are related to each other
as members of a confederation with equal rights.
The British organization, being the oldest and
largest, and having a house and salaried officers
who devote their whole time to the work, has been
the most influential; the Continental branches are
more elastic, and confine themselves to occasional
work. The " Evangelical Alliance for the United
States " or the American branch, was organized
at the Bible House, lyew York, Jan. 30, 1867 (a
previous attempt having failed on account of the
antislavery agitation before the Civil War), with
William E. Dodge as president. Its first official
communication was made to the Fifth General Con
ference of the Alliance, meeting at Amsterdam, Aug.,
1867, and was a report on the " State of Religion
in the United States of America " prepared by
Prof. Henry B. Smith, of Union Theological Semi
nary, New York, chairman of the executive com
mittee of the American branch. Mr. Dodge re
mained president till his death (1883) when he was
succeeded by his son William E. Dodge, Jr. Drs.
S. Irenaeus Prime and Philip Schaff were the first
corresponding secretaries. The American branch
at once became a vigorous organization and pre
sented an invitation to the Alliance in session in
.Amsterdam to hold its next meeting (1873) in New
York, which was accepted.
The Alliance has sought to accomplish its work
in three ways, by means of the annual Week of
Prayer, by conferences and by
appeals for those
oppressed by religious persecution. At a conference at Manchester, 1846, a resolution was
adopted urging the "members and
3. The friends of the Alliance throughout the
Week of world to observe the week beginning
Prayer. with the first Lord's day of January in
each year as a season for concert in
prayer on behalf of the objects contemplated
by the Alliance." Later
the scope was widened
in answer to an appeal from the English and American missionaries in India. It has become a fruitful
means for promoting Christian union and the spread
of the Gospel at home and abroad. A program
is issued several months in advance of the date by
the British organization, and sent to the branch
Alliances for their revision and adoption. Each
branch adapts it to the conditions and wants of
the country which it represents, and gives it publicity. Fifty-nine programs have thus far been
issued. In more recent years the American branch
has acted independently in preparing a program
of its own. The subjects chosen for prayer have
included union with Christ, home and foreign
missions, the nations and their rulers, the home,
and Christian institutions such as the Young Men's
Christian Association, schools and Sunday Schools.