Wesley Center Online

Nazarene Manifesto - Chapter III


The Church of the Nazarene Particularly

Already our focus has turned from the denominations severally to the one among them which we love the most. We call it "our beloved Zion"-the Church of the Nazarene. In that name the second definite article should be capitalized and the last word is always singular. Jesus alone is THE Nazarene, and only as we are in Him can any of us be true Nazarenes. So what is our creed at this juncture

The Church of the Nazarene is composed of those persons who have voluntarily associated themselves together according to the doctrines and polity of said church, and who seek holy Christian fellowship, the conversion of sinners, the entire sanctification of believers, their upbuilding in holiness, and the simplicity and spiritual power manifest in the primitive New Testament Church, together with the preaching of the gospel to every creature.[1]

 Here a brief analysis of this paragraph from our constitution may be profitable.

1. Persons who have voluntarily associated themselves together. This principle of freedom we have already discussed in the preceding chapter. Suffice it here to say that a true Nazarene is one by choice-and in the same manner as one becomes a Christian by choice. Therefore one cannot be the best kind of Nazarene unless he knows why he is one. That is why we have contended that there are no "birthright" Nazarenes.

But we trust that our church is more than a human society with voluntary membership. We believe that God leads and calls people into the fellowship of our church just as He added to the New Testament Church those who were being saved. Therefore he who is a Nazarene from mere convenience is not a genuine Nazarene. This leads to the next point.

2. According to the doctrine and polity of said church. Here it is important to read carefully the Manual's "Agreed Statement of Belief":

Recognizing that the right and privilege of persons to church membership rest upon the fact of their being regenerate, we would require only such avowals of belief as are essential to Christian experience.

We, therefore, deem belief in the following brief statements to be sufficient. We believe:

1.       In One God-the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2.       That the Old and New Testament Scriptures, given by plenary inspiration, contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living.

3.       That man is born with a fallen nature, and is, therefore, inclined to evil, and that continually.

4.       That the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost.

5.       That the atonement through Jesus Christ is for the whole human race; and that whosoever repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and regenerated and saved from the dominion of sin.

6.       That believers are to be sanctified wholly, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

7.       That the Holy Spirit bears witness to the new birth, and also to the entire sanctification of believers.

8.      That our Lord will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place.[2]

Thus as to doctrine, we are Trinitarians, not Unitarians, or tritheists. We base our authority for faith and Christian living on the sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible, and we contend that "whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith." Only these Scriptures carry that full and complete quality of divine revelation as to the "things necessary to our salvation."

We contend that man is a fallen being with a nature that is spontaneously turned toward evil. We believe that unless the individual man repents of his sins he is forever lost and estranged from God.

We are Wesleyan-Armiman in our interpretation of Christ's death-resurrection. We teach that it was an atonement for human sins and a remedy for human sinfulness, universal in its intention and adequacy, and applicable to anyone who will repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his divine Saviour. And it is our contention that whoever does so is justified, regenerated, and adopted into the family of God. It is our belief that by this new birth human nature is changed.

We are also Wesleyan-Arminian in our belief that, following this regenerating transformation, one can and must be sanctified entirely, and this is achieved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since it is God's act of cleansing, conditioned only upon man's faith and submission, it occurs instantaneously.

Furthermore, it is our belief that the Holy Spirit of God as a divine character Witness lets us know personally what manner of men we are, and that He himself witnesses (testifies) to our new birth and to our entire sanctification as forgiven and cleansed believers.

Finally, we are confident that our Lord Jesus will return in person to this earth, that the dead (both the sinners and the righteous) will be raised, and that the final judgment of all mankind is certain.

As to polity, ours is a representative form of government; a combination of the episcopal and congregational principles.[3] We have our overseers whom we call superintendents. We have local churches who select their own pastors, elect their own officials and delegates, and manage their own property and finances. We have a Manual of faith and practice which spells out for us the specific mode and methods of operation for our church-local, district, and international.

3. Who seek:

a. Holy Christian fellowship. Our quest is the koinonia of true Christians. Our emphasis in this fellowship is upon holiness and Christlikeness. In our General and Special Rules we seek helpfully to spell out how one may demonstrate such holiness and Christlikeness. We feel a kinship to every like-minded soul.

b. The conversion of sinners. The church must be a redemptive society, or it has no excuse for being (no raison d'etre) to justify its existence as a denomination. Unless sinners are being converted to Christ, our church fails in part of its divine mission. Men must be turned from sin to the Saviour, from the power of Satan unto God.

c. The entire sanctification of believers. God has raised us up to be a people who are His own private property, purified by His Spirit and zealous for good works. This purpose is in keeping with our cardinal doctrine. We seek to persuade every born-again believer to seek the mighty sealing and cleansing baptism with the Holy Spirit which purges away any spontaneity for sin and infuses a positive spontaneity for godliness. Along with James Arminius we hold that "the sprinkling of the blood of Christ" not only "serves for the expiation of sins, and ... is the cause of justification," but that it "belongs also to sanctification; for in justification, this sprinkling serves to wash away our sins that have been committed; but in sanctification, it serves to sanctify men who have obtained remission of their sins, that they may further be enabled to offer worship and sacrifices to God through Christ."[4]

d. Their upbuilding in holiness. Our church seeks the edification of believers in holiness, contending that after the crisis experiences of divine grace there must come the ever ascending process of Christian growth in Godlikeness. Hence we affirm:

There is a marked distinction between a perfect heart and a perfect character. The former is obtained in an instant, the result of entire sanctification, but the latter is the result of growth in grace.

Our mission to the world is not alone to spread scriptural holiness as a doctrine, but also to be "an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Our people should give careful heed to the development of holiness in the fear of the Lord, to the promotion of the growth of Christian graces in the heart, and to their manifestation in the daily life.[5]

This growth involves an increase in Christian love, although the heart that is sanctified already knows perfection in love. Like Wesley, we insist that Christian perfection is improvable. "It is so far from lying in an indivisible point, from being incapable of increase, that one perfected in love may grow in grace far swifter than he did before."[6]

e. The simplicity and spiritual power manifest in the primitive New Testament Church. Nazarenes are to be Spirit-led people. In the New Testament Church false distinctions were removed and human classifications were exchanged for such as were spiritual. Believers were constituted a brotherhood in Christ, whether they were schooled in the university at Tarsus with graduate work at the feet of Gamaliel or were unschooled fishermen; whether they were male or female, bond or free, rich or poor--all were brothers of Christ, their Elder Brother, and members one of another. And, as Wesley points out, the sin of schismatics was to create a division within not from the church.

Christian simplicity was manifested also in their manner of dress and demeanor.

The chief concern for the Primitive Church was the release of spiritual power through and into redeemed personalities. Many were the anointings of the Spirit which enabled them to triumph over the moral corruption of their age and to see evangelism become effective in the very strongholds of Satan.

True Nazarenes are plain folk. They loathe spiritual pride as earnestly as any other of pride's manifestations. The power that comes through purity must ever be our chief concern. The power of the New Testament Church came as it was Spirit-filled.

f. Together with the preaching of the gospel to every creature. In line with the Great Commission, ours is a worldwide evangel. It is our conviction that no man has a right to hear the gospel twice until every person of Adam's race has heard it at least once. We insist that we are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure as we ourselves have received it. We must therefore, as the Manual states it (paragraph 25), be found constantly "pressing upon the attention of the unsaved the claims of the gospel, inviting them to the house of the Lord, and trying to compass their salvation."

What about our denominational identity We are a branch of the Church of Almighty God, and one of the several denominations of Christendom-a providentially associated people with the above-stated doctrines of belief and goals for endeavor. We are both ecumenical and denominational in our origin, in our government, and in our interpretation and use of the sacraments. This ecumenicity is manifest in our attitude toward nonNazarenes. We will baptize anyone who seeks baptism, provided he is born again, whether he seeks to unite with our church or not. At this point we are at least sixty years ahead of the present-day Consultation on Church Union, for we have always been willing to baptize the believer according to his own choice of mode, whether by pouring, sprinkling, or immersion. Let us note their (the C.O.C.U.'s) declaration of principles:

Baptism is to be administered only once. . . . Both infant baptism and believer's baptism shall be accepted as alternative practices in the united church. Neither shall be imposed contrary to conscience. . . In the united church, baptism shall be administered in water (whether by immersion, pouring, or sprinkling) in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, after appropriate instruction and preparation. The rite shall include a confession of sin and repentance, an affirmation of faith, a promise of continued life in the Church, and a life of obedience to Christ.[7]

A comparison with our own constitution will show this to have been the position of the Church of the Nazarene from the start. But here again we have adopted Wesley's position as set forth in his "Treatise on Baptism." Yet we do not agree with Wesley on some other points of his teaching about water baptism.

We could not agree with Welsey that in baptism there is "the washing away" of "the guilt of original sin,"[8] or even that "the virtue of the free gift" is "applied to us in baptism," rather than in our justification. Nor would we admit Wesley's Anglicanism which contends that "children who are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are saved." He apparently failed to realize that the obverse of this must therefore be true, namely, that unbaptized children though they have not committed any sins will be lost. And surely this would be the case if baptism be that which removes from each person the guilt of original sin.

We are ready to allow with Wesley that "by baptism we enter into covenant with God," but we would question whether by the same sacrament we are "admitted into the Church, and consequently made members of Christ." Since he believes that people are "mystically united to Christ" and sustain a "spiritual, vital union with him," then how can he say that it is through water baptism and affirm that "there is no other means of entering into the Church or into heaven"

Still further, we must reject his sheer sacramentarianism when he says, "By water then, as a means, the water of baptism, we are regenerated or born again," declaring further that "herein a principle of grace is infused." Someone needs to remind Mr. Wesley here that all the water of Neptune's ocean poured over his body cannot suffice to wash away the sin of his soul, be it either original or actual.

Wesley continues his argument on behalf of infant baptism by saying: "Infants need to be washed from original sin; therefore they are proper subjects of baptism." But he seems not to realize that this Roman and Lutheran position argues also that unbaptized infants are lost. He does, however, definitely declare that "infants are guilty of original sin. . . . This original stain cleaves to every child of man; and hereby they are children of wrath, and liable to eternal damnation." Dr. H. Orton Wiley offers this corrective word: "The term 'guilt' . . . needs to be carefully guarded. It may mean . . . either culpability (reatus culpae), or mere liability to punishment (reatus poenae)."[9] In the case of Adam's sin "the culpability belonged solely to Adam, and resided in the first sinner as the natural head and representative of the race." It is incorrect then for Wesley to contend that infants are guilty before God because of Adam's sin. Wiley continues: "The consequences of his sin were passed on to his descendants as the reatus poenae, or liability to punishment. Hence Wiley declares: "We understand that no child of Adam is condemned eternally, either for the original offense, or its consequences. . . . None are predestinated unconditionally to eternal damnation, and ... culpability does not attach to original sin." It is Wiley's contention that the guilt of original sin was removed from the individual descendants of Adam by the death of Christ, whereupon "the Free Gift" passed upon all men, involving "the reversal of the condemnation and the bestowal of a title to eternal life." Thus, to quote Wiley further:

We must believe that condemnation in the sense of the doom of the race, never passed beyond Adam and the unindividualized nature of man. It was arrested in Christ as regards every individual, and thereby changed into a conditional sentence. Man is not now condemned for the depravity of his own nature, although that depravity is of the essence of sin; its culpability we maintain, was removed by the free gift in Christ. Man is condemned solely for his own transgressions. The free gift removed the original condemnation and abounds unto many offences. Man becomes amenable for the depravity of his heart, only when rejecting the remedy for it, he consciously ratifies it as his own, with all its penal consequences.

In this contention Wiley stands in agreement with such thinkers as Zwingli, Arminius, and Fletcher. Wiley quotes Zwingli as saying: "Whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to admit that original sin, as it is in the descendants of Adam, is not properly sin, as has already been explained, for it is not a transgression of the Law. It is therefore properly a disease and a condition."[10] Likewise he quotes Arminius as having said: "There is no ground for the assertion that the sin of Adam was imputed to his posterity in the sense that God actually judged the posterity of Adam to be guilty of and chargeable with the same sin and crime that Adam had committed . . . I do not deny that it is sin, but it is not actual sin. We must distinguish between actual sin and that which is the cause of other sins, and which on that very account may be denominated sin."[11] He also notes that, in his third check to Atinomianism, Fletcher shows that infants are justified without either faith or works and solely and universally on the basis of God's free gift through Christ (cf. Romans 5:12-19).[12]

In the light of these considerations one is tempted to exclaim, "O Wesley, where was thy usual acumen, to write such a treatise as this on baptism!" "For," as Arminius so aptly observes, "grace cannot be immediately conferred by water." Moreover, "because it is a sign confirming the promise and sealing it, it is unwisely asserted that, through it, grace is conferred."[13]

We can take the Lord's supper with anyone who knows he is born again, or at least feels contrition for his sins, and we will accept his own testimony as to his worthiness thus to receive the sacrament at the hands of one of our ministers, be he Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic,[14] or otherwise. There is no fencing of the tables of the Lord with us. For we can welcome to the Lord's Supper any repentant believer of any denomination. But does one have to be a born-again believer or just a repentant sinner to come and partake Here our church is not as clear as is John Wesley himself. We say: "Let all those who have with true repentance forsaken their sins, and have believed in Christ unto salvation, draw near and take these emblems."[15] Thus it seems that we would insist that only a born-again believer in Christ is to receive the sacrament. But Wesley regards it as more than a confirming means of grace. With him it is a means of possible conversion or a converting means as well. He says:

In latter times many have affirmed that the Lord's Supper is not a converting, but a confirming ordinance. And among us it has been diligently taught that none but those who are converted, who have received the Holy Ghost, who are believers in the full sense, ought to communicate. But experience shows the gross falsehood of that assertion, that the Lord's Supper is not a converting ordinance. Ye are the witnesses. For many now present know, the very beginning of your conversion to God (perhaps in some, the first deep conviction [of sin]) was wrought at the Lord's Supper. Now one single instance of this kind overthrows the whole assertion.[16]

Manifestly, at this point, we are at variance with Wesley's position.

Nazarenes would surely disagree with Wesley's insistence in the same entry of his Journal that those to whom Jesus' command was, "Do this in remembrance of me," "were then unconverted . . . who (in the full sense of the word) were not believers." But first let us note that the manuscript evidence for Wesley's text being in the Greek original is very weak. He did not have access to the more reliable Sinaitic, Vatican, and Alexandrian manuscripts, which were discovered later. Secondly, let us note that in any case this expression was addressed to Jesus' disciples concerning whom He prayed, "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14), and, "They have believed" (John 17:8). One wonders how Wesley can say they were not yet believers (cf. also John 16:19). Thirdly, and in the light of this, we cannot agree that it is an "indisputable" example of Jesus giving the sacrament to sinners, unbelievers, or unconverted folk.

That Wesley felt the need to explain himself more correctly appears from the next day's entry in his Journal for Saturday, June 28, 1740. There he adds:

I showed at large, (1) That the Lord's Supper was ordained by God to be a means of conveying to men either preventing, or justifying, or sancrifying grace, according to their several necessities. (2) That the persons for whom it was ordained, are all those who know and feel they want [lack] the grace of God, either to restrain them from sin, or to show their sins forgiven, or to renew their souls in the image of God. (3) That inasmuch as we come to his table, not to give him anything, but to receive whatsoever he sees best for us, there is no previous preparation indispensably necessary, but a desire to receive whatsoever he pleases to give. And, (4) That no fitness is required at the time of communicating, but a sense of our state, of our utter sinfulness and helplessness; everyone who knows he is fit for hell, being just fit to come to Christ, in this as well as all other ways of his appointment.[17]

We can agree with Wesley that none of us should feel himself worthy of or meriting God's grace, but we cannot agree that the taking of the sacrament is a converting, forgiving, or sanctifying rite. This is too Romish for us to acknowledge.

However, it is quite evident that Wesley later modified his position at this very point. For in his sermon on "The Means of Grace" published in 1771 he quite plainly urges:

Before you use any means, let it be deeply impressed on your soul; there is no power in this. It is, in itself, a poor, dead, empty thing: Separate from God, it is a dry leaf, a shadow. Neither is there any merit in my using this; nothing intrinsically pleasing to God; nothing whereby I deserve any favour at his hands, no, not a drop of water to cool my tongue. But, because God bids, therefore I do; because he directs me to wait in this way, therefore here I wait for his free mercy, whereof cometh my salvation.

Settle this in your heart, that the opus operatum, the mere work done, profiteth nothing; that there is no power to save, but in the Spirit of God, no merit, but in the blood of Christ; that, consequently, even what God ordains, conveys no grace to the soul, if you trust not in Him alone. On the other hand, he that does truly trust in Him, cannot fall short of the grace of God, even though he were cut off from every outward ordinance, though he were shut up in the center of the earth.[18]

Here, then, Wesley is on firmer ground and more in agreement with Arminius, who contends that apart from faith no grace is conferred; and where there is faith, grace is conferred even apart from the sacrament.

It is of particular interest that at this point of the observance of the Lord's Supper the World Council of Churches has encountered difficulty. Not yet has the entire Council been able to partake of this sacrament in total unison, having been unable to agree upon a suitable theology thereof and a valid and acceptable modus operandi. Here, at least, we are more ecumenical since we can welcome any believer of any denomination. And though our ritual specifies "unfermented wine and unleavened bread," yet no Nazarene would be liable to excommunication were he to partake in some other church where the leavened bread and fermented wine were used. Some of our ministers will consecrate the elements; most, however, will consecrate their people, whom they urge to prepare their hearts for the partaking by means of serious self-examination and sincere consecration to the will of God, coupled with the removal of any barriers to fellowship that might have arisen between themselves and the brethren. But here again we differ somewhat from John Wesley, who said that "there is no previous preparation indispensably necessary."

With us the sacraments are not ends in themselves but means of grace, and no magic pertains to them. The elements are not objects of worship; they are signs and seals of the grace which they proclaim.

As to the ministry, we Nazarenes will recognize the ordination of a minister outside our own denomination. And in case he wishes to associate with us, he is not required to be re-ordained in order to become a Nazarene minister.

Our contention is that apostolic authority comes from the Lord Jesus himself by way of the calling and commissioning of the Holy Spirit. Ours must be the ordination of the pierced hands if we are to stand in a line of succession with the apostles.

We can associate and officiate on any platform or in any pulpit with any other minister of any other denomination for the achievement of any of our above stated purposes, be he Jew, Catholic, or Protestant. We are ready to say with Wesley, "If your heart is as my heart, then give me your hand" It was our founder, Dr. P. F. Bresee, who declared: "We are blood-brother to every blood-bought, blood-washed, son or daughter of Adam's race."

Our God is very much alive and real to us. He acts within the arena of history and invades our personal lives. Most any of us could testify: "I know He lives, for I have talked with Him today."

We contend that our agreed statement of belief, as we have outlined it above, is both ecumenical and Christian.

We cooperate with the National Council of Religious Education for the sake of the Sunday school lesson outlines and cycles, and we always have some of our leaders at the meetings of the National Association of Evangelicals, but we are in bondage to neither. We do not hold membership in either the National Council of Churches or the National Association of Evangelicals. Our contention is that church unity, to be had at all, must come by way of the Holy Spirit's melting God's people together as one, and by the divine providences that associate us together in a common cause. This unity is organismic life in the Spirit, welding us into a oneness with everyone who is Spirit filled. That is why we send our fraternal delegates to the various assemblies of our sister holiness denominations.

The task of the Church of God generally, as we see it, involves kerygma, koinonia, and diaconia, which, spelled out, would include these seven items:

1. Tarrying for the enduement of power and purity from on high, which assures the presence of the Holy Spirit in every undertaking.

2. Then traversing all the world in a globe-girdling promotion and heralding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. Coupled with this would come testifying to a world of sinners what transforming grace can do for any repentant soul.

4. This would be followed by the teaching of all believers those things pertaining to God and man, a trusteeship of the truth.

5. The dynamic of it all would be a passionate concern which would inspire great travailing in prayer for a genuine explosion of evangelism.

6. This would surely result in the transforming of souls, and society in general, tearing down false distinctions, racially, economically, and socially, so that loving service would be the delight of all endeavor.

7. Then indeed would the Church be triumphing as a company of the Lord's overcomers, valiant for the truth, earnestly contending for the faith, and enduring as seeing Him who is invisible. This would make her sense of eternal realities both vital and valid.

Isn't it about time the Church turned to her task with all seriousness in just such power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit

As for those of us who call ourselves Nazarenes, our task would include all of this plus the fact that God has raised us up to spread scriptural holiness around the world. We must share the "good news" with all of our Christian brethren, namely: "Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb.13:12) .

It is our contention that moral reform is prior and basic to social reform. We are committed to the salvation of sinners (conversion), and the sanctification of believers (cleansing), and, following this, their edification in holiness (growth in grace). We have been persecuted and ostracized because of our testimony to the Holy Spirit's work of grace in our hearts. But let not this dissuade or even deter us. True social reform is the by-product of true evangelism, as Timothy Smith has convincingly showed us in his book Revivalism and Social Reform.

We are frank to confess that, although we believe we have been divinely raised up to do a work for God in this age, we are still human. In many areas of our relationships we have been, and are, too provincial and exclusive. In others we are or have been too broadly inclusive and extra-denominational. Our church has had, and it still has, its cranks and radicals. But we have never put a premium on either ignorance or noise. We have been blessed with our own good share of Ph.D's. and Th.D's. in our educational institutions from the very beginning. Likewise there is no place for race prejudice in our faith, though some of it creeps into our fellowship at times by way of those whose conception of our church is narrow and bigoted. We need to pray that we may be kept from mere selfish propaganda and the octopus of ecclesiastical mechanization. Basically, ours is an international church with a worldwide program in process of realization in many lands and among many nations and races.

The Scripture is our only rule of faith and practice. Yet we hold to a very precious tradition which goes back even to Pentecost. We may trace it through the teaching and preaching of Wiley, Bresee, Asbury, Wesley, Limborch, Episcopius, Arminius, Luther, Savonarola, St. Francis, Augustine, Chrysostom, Macarius the Egyptian, the Latin and Greek fathers, to the apostles (with Paul himself as a "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes"), and to Jesus THE Nazarene. Yet we cannot claim to be the only true church, for one day the Master himself, when informed that His followers had forbidden one who was casting out devils in Jesus' name simply for the narrow-minded reason that he was not one of their company, said: "Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me" (Mark 9:39). However, we do stand in the magnificent line of tradition as we have already traced it-a tradition for the promotion and preaching of holiness. We are sure of what we believe, and we know why we believe it.

We are not so sure that a mammoth organization comprising all the churches of Christendom is the answer for our age. It could be only a mammoth compromise. We are also convinced that a divisive, holier-than-thou attitude will get us nowhere as we seek to save a lost world. We did find it expedient during the crisis of World War II in Japan to amalgamate with many other holiness and evangelical denominations for the sake of the preservation of the evangelical witness there while our missionaries had to be withdrawn. And we could do so again elsewhere under similar circumstances. But we are definitely opposed to, and rightly afraid of, hatching chickens for some other hen to mother. We have had some sad experiences with converts whom we sent back to spiritually cold churches where their ardor was frowned upon and their testimonies were stifled.

In our zeal for conservatism we have yielded at times to a bigoted separatism, but this is not our general attitude. We believe in both separation and cooperation: separation from the world-(sometimes radically so), and cooperation with all good causes-(sometimes blindly so). Yet we do not propose to compromise our faith or be sidetracked from our purpose. We must insist on purity and power.

We remain aloof from foreign politics in countries where our missionaries serve, for the simple reason that we are not abroad to change the politics of any nation. We take an active part in politics at home, for, as citizens of the home state, we believe we should put our Christian ideals into practice and do whatever may be possible to improve the statesmanship of our leaders.

We Nazarenes have a stewardship and also a calling. Ours must be both an achieving faith and an achieving frenzy. The time for the promotion of salvation in the hearts of men is very short, and eternity is so everlastingly long. The night approaches when the harvest must cease. The door of our God-given opportunity may soon close. We haven't time to waste in futile arguments as to whether the Church is the body or only the bride of Christ.

Let us retreat for power, let us take counsel for wisdom, but let us advance for conquest, remembering a poor, lost demon-ridden world that needs to be brought to Jesus for healing. A compassionate Saviour calls to us with His passionate imperative: "Bring him unto me" (Mark 9:19).

[1] Manual, Church of the Nazarene, paragraph 23.

[2] Ibid., paragraph 24.

[3] This was the great issue of debate by our founding leaders at their uniting General Assembly held at Pilot Point, Texas, in 1908. This form of government was a compromise suggested by Rev. H. D. Brown of Seattle, Washington. The easterners were from a congregational background; the westerners were from an episcopal heritage. The southerners were from both types of church polity.

 [4] Op. cit. (Private Disputation 49), II, 121.

[5] Manual, "Special Rules," paragraph 40.

[6] Op. cit. ("A Plain Account of Christian Perfection"), XI, 442.

[7] Principles of Church Union (Forward Movement Miniature Book), p. 39. This is the document approved at Dallas in May, 1966, and submitted for study to its member churches by the Consultation on Church Union.

 [8] See his "Treatise on Baptism" (op. cit., X, 190-93), from which this and the following excerpts are taken.

 [9] Cf. Ii. Orton Wiley, Christian Theology, II, 126-35, from which this and the following excerpts are taken.

 [10] Ibid., II, 107.

[11] Ibid., II, 108.

[12] The Works of the Reverend John Fletcher, Late Vicar of Madeley (New York: Waugh and T. Mason, 1833), I, 161 ff.

 [13] Op. cit. (Private Disputation 63), II, 160-61.

[14] Not until now (in 1967) have our Catholic brethren decided to allow Protestants (whom they now refer to as separated brethren) to receive Holy Communion at the hands of a Roman Catholic priest, and that only under certain specified circumstances, where urgent need is specifically known. Cf. Vatican Decree of May 26, 1967.

 [15] Manual, "Ritual," paragraph 584.

[16] Op. cit., I, 279. Cf. Journal for 27-28 June, 1740.

[17] Ibid., Journal.

[18] Ibid., V, 200-201, his italics.