4. Conferences, National and General

has held conferences in Pittsburg , Na- 1875, Detroit 1877, St. Louis 1879, tional sad Washington 1887, Boston 1889, and

General. at Chicago in connection with the

Colombian Exposition 1893. The German branch has held national conferences at Berlin 1894, Cassel 1896, Essen 1898, Heidelberg 1900, and Hamburg 1905. It is managed by a committee of twelve, one of whom represents the Methodists in Germany. The Continental and other branches meet less regularly. Far more important, however, are the General Conferences convened at intervals according to circumstances. They have an international as well as interdenominational character, and may be called Protestant ecumenical councils, with the important difference that they do not settle dogmas or canons of discipline, and claim no legislative authority. They have been held in the great capitals, and arranged by the branch in whose bounds they meet, with the cooperation of all the sister branches. They last from seven to ten days, and are spent in prayer and praise, brotherly communion, and free discussions of the leading religious and social questions of the age. Eleven International Conferences have been held in the following cities: London in 1851, the year of the first great International Exhibition; Paris, 1855; Berlin, 1857; Geneva, 1861; Amsterdam, 1867; New York, 1873; Basel, 1879; Copenhagen, 1884; Florence, 1891; London, 1896 -the diamond jubilee-and 1907.

The Conference held in New York Oct. 2-12, 1873, drew together m friendly conference and communion representative Christians from many parts of Europe and from Asia and Africa, se well se from all parts of the United


States and Canada. Dr. Philip Schaff made four journeys abroad to awaken interest in the gathering and to invite chosen speakers. He presented the matter before church diets including the Old Catholic Congress, before the faculties of universities and selected groups of clergymen, also in audiences with the German Emperor and Air. Gladstone. Among themoreeminentspeakera from abroad, all clergymen and doctors of divinity, unless otherwise stated, were Joseph Angus (Baptist), R. Payne Smith, W. H. Freemantle, Stanley Leathea, and Rev. C. D. Marston (Anglican), John Stoughton and Joseph Parker (Independent), Wm. Arnot, John Cairns, and Robert Knox (Presbyterian), all of Great Britain; Georges Fiech, E. F. Cook and T. Lorriaux of France; I. A. Dorner, Theodor Christlieb and W. Krafft of Germany; Profs. C. Pronier and J. F. Astir and Franck Coulin of Switzerland; Cohen Stuart from Holland; Prof. M. Prochet from Florence; M. Kalopothakes, M. D., from Greece; and Revs. Antonio Carrasco and Fritz Fliedner from Spain. The Rev. Narsyaa Sheshadri, a converted Brahman of high caste, was one of the most interesting figures of the conference.

The seventh conference (Basel, 1879) was not so large and imposing. The eighth conference (Copenhagen, 1884) took the alliance to distinctly Lutheran ground and brought the strict Scandinavian Protestantism into fellowship with the churches of other lands. The conference at Florence (1891) gave an impulse to Italian evangelization. The tenth conference (London, 1896) was a jubilee meeting commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the Alliance.

The Alliance has appealed against religious per secution in a number of instances through the press and deputations of influential public

g. Appeals men, and while the appeals have not

for Relig- always accomplished their immediate

ious purpose, they have had a considerable

Liberty. moral influence in favor of a more general adoption of the principles of religious liberty. It successfully exerted its

influence for the release of the Madiai family in

Florence, 1852, who were punished for reading the

Bible and holding religious meetings; for the release of Matamoras, Carrasco, and their friends, who, during the reign of Queen Isabella, in Spain, were thrown into prison and condemned to the galleys for the same cause, 1863. It aided in in ducing the sultan of Turkey to abolish the death penalty for apostasy from Mohammedanism in his dominions after the Crimean War, 1856. It inter ceded for the Methodists and Baptists in Sweden,

1858, which country has since abrogated the penal laws against Roman Catholics and Protestants not belonging to the Lutheran Confession. It sent in

1871 a large deputation to the Czar of Russia

(then at Friedrichshafen) to plead for the oppressed

Lutherans in the Baltic Prov;.nces. Among the dele gates from the United States were Philip Schaff and William Adams of New York, Bishop McIlvaine

of Ohio, and the laymen William E. Dodge, Gurus

Field, and Nathan Bishop. It sent a similar depu tation to the embassy from Japan, on its visit to the United States and the courts of Europe in

1872, to remonstrate against the persecutions of

Christians, mostly Roman Catholics, in Japan. It has not forgotten the Nestorians in Persia, who appealed to the Alliance for protection against the oppression of a Mohammedan government. It prepared a memorial to the Czar on the persecution of Baptists in Southern Russia, 1874. At the seventh General Conference a deputation was appointed to wait on the Emperor of Austria in behalf of certain Christians in Bohemia, who were

debarred the liberty of holding even family wor-

ship; and the request was granted by the special interposition of the emperor. In the last few years efforts have been made to secure a more enlightened and humane treatment of the Stundists in Russia and the Armenian Christians in Asia.

A new kind of work has been undertaken by the British and German branches in cooperating in the maintenance since 1905 of an Alliance School at Steglitz near Berlin to train students for religious work in Russia.

(Philip Schaff†) D. S. Schaff.

Bibliography: The Proceedings of the Liverpool meeting of 1845 and of the General Conferences at London, Paris, Berlin, Geneva, Amsterdam, New York, Basel, Florence, and the London jubilee conference of 1898, were all published in English, moat of them also in French, German, and Dutch, in the cities where they were held. Of these publications especially valuable are the volumes relating to the Conference at Amsterdam by Rev. P. Steane, those at New York (1873 and 1884) by Schaff and S. I. Prime, that at Basel by J. Murray Mitchell, at Florence by R. A. Bedford, and at London by A. J. Arnold, and of the Washington, Boston and Chicago meetings. Among publications of the American branch are its Reports, 1867-1905, the Narrative of the State of Religion in the United Slates by Prof. H. B. Smith, presented to the Amsterdam Conference, 1867, the similar Narrative presented by Philip Schaff to the Basel Conference, a Report on the AZZianeeDePutation to the Czar of Russia, 1871, and the Reunion of Christendom by Philip Schaff, 1893, the author's last literary work. The British branch publishes yearly Reports, a monthly periodical, Evangelical Christendom, 1847-99, The Evangelical Alliance Quarterly, 1899-1908, and the bimonthly Evangelical Christendom. 1908 sqq. For brief but somewhat unsatisfactory historic accounts of the Alliance consult Rev. James Davis in the Proceedinga for 1874, and A. J. Arnold, in the Jubilee volume, London, 1897. Consult also Life of Philip Schaff, N. Y., 1897, pp. 252-274, 332 sqq., 340 sqq. The President and Corresponding Secretary of the American branch is Rev. Leander Chamberlain, D.D., The Chelsea, W. 23d St., New York. The office of the British branch is 7 Adam $t., Strand, London. and its secretary is H. Martyn Gooch.


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