PRESBYTERIAN SYSTEM, Alliance of the Reformed Churches Throughout the World Holding the. Previous to 1870 the desire had been frequently expressed that the various branches of the Presbyterian churches could be united in some general alliance which would express the generic unity of Presby terianism. Some attempts had been made in this direction, but the first official step in this country was taken by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A., at its ses sions in Baltimore 1873. As a result of this action, the alliance was formed by representa tives from different Presbyterian churches in London, England, in the year 1875. The al liance is composed of representatives from dif ferent branches of the Presbyterian Church throughout the world. The action of its General Council is not legally binding upon any of the churches, but only advisory in its character.
It has, however, been enabled through its counsels to regulate the mission work of the Church, and to bring different branches of the Presbyterian family into closer relations, for mutual support. The alliance has held seven Gene6.1 Councils: the first was in Edinburgh, Scotland, 1877; the second in Philadelphia, U. S. A., 1880; the third, in Belfast, Ireland, 1884; the fourth in London, England, 1888; the fifth in Toronto, Canada, 1892; the sixth in Glasgow, Scotland, 1896; the seventh in Washington, D. C., 1899; the eighth in Liver pool, England, 1904. The churches connected with the alliance number more than 90, and are located in all parts of the world. The adherents of the Presbyterian and Reformed churches rep resented in the alliance number at the present time about 30,000,000.