EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE, THE. The Evangelical Alliance was constituted in 1846 at a great Conference in Freemason's Hall, London, which was attended by eight hundred representatives of the Christian Churches.
One of the resolutions passed was as follows: " This Conference, composed of professing Christians of many different denominations, all exercising the right of private judgment, and, through common infirmity, differ ing among themselves in the views they severally enter tain on some points both of Christian doctrine and eccles iastical polity, and gathered together from many and remote parts of the world for the purpose of promoting Christian union, rejoice in making their unanimous avowal of the glorious truth that the Church of the Living God, while it admits of growth, is one Church, never having lost, and being incapable of losing, its essential unity. Not, therefore, to create that unity, but to confess it, is the design of their assembling together. One in reality, they desire also, as far as they may be able to attain it, to be visibly one; and thus both to realize in themselves and to exhibit to others that a living and everlasting union binds all true believers together in the fellowship of the Church of Christ, ' which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.' " The Alliance is based upon nine theological views which are usually understood to be evangelical. 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 Persons therein. 4. The utter depravity of human nature in consequence of the fall. 5. The Incarnation of the Son of God, His work of atonement for sinners, and His mediatorial intercession and reign. 6. The justification of the sinner by faith alone. 7. The work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion and sanctification of the sinner. S. The immortality of the soul, the resur rection 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. It is distinctly declared, however, that " this brief summary is not to be regarded, in any formal or ecclesiastical sense, as a creed or con fession, nor the adoption of it as inc'olving an assump tion of the right authoritatively to define the limits of Christian brotherhood, but simply as an indication of the class of persons whom it is desirable to embrace within the Alliance." One of the practical resolutions agreed upon by the London Conference of 1S46 and read at each Annual Meeting or Conference of the British Organization of the Evangelical Alliance lays special stress on this general Christian fraternity. " That. while they believe it highly desirable that Christians of different bodies, holding the Head, should own each other as brethren by some such means as the Evangelical Alliance affords, the members of the Alliance disclaim the thought that those only who openly join the society are sincere friends to the cause of Christian Union : that, on the contrary, they regard all those as its true friends who solemnly purpose in their hearts, and fulfil that purpose in their practice, to be more watchful in future against occasions of strife, more tender and charit able towards Christians from whom they differ, and more constant in prayer for the union of all the true disciples of Christ." Since its foundation the Evangelical Alliance has exerted itself on behalf of persecuted Christians not only in Europe but also in many countries beyond. In recent years it has endeavoured also to bring relief to Jews in Russia, and sufferers from famine in Armenia. It has tried to promote religious liberty in Malta, Russia, Spain, and other countries. See the Annual Reports of the Evangelical Alliance.