appertaining to, or characteristic of, the Gospel.
(1.) The term "has been applied to a portion of the English Church who either profess, or are supposed to know and inculcate the Gospel in an especial manner, and to give peculiar prominence to the doctrine of salvation by faith in the atonement. It is probably true that among this portion of the Church of England many, but not all maintain the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism; and there may have been a time when (in the opinion of some) lower views of the sacraments and of Church authority prevailed among them than what are generally received among other members of that Church. Very many persons lament the use of this term, and consider that, like all party appellations, it tends to perpetuate division in the Church; accordingly, they desire that it should be disused as a party term, and carefully confined to its original meaning" (Eden).
(2.) In Prussia, the United Established Church (since 1817) has been called the "Evangelical Church." SEE PRUSSIA AND UNITED EVANGELICAL CHURCH.
(3.) In England and America the term "evangelical" is frequently used to distinguish those churches which believe in the divinity of Christ and the atonement from those that do not.