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Nazarene Founder Bresee Crusades for Temperance

     "It was during Dr. Bresee's pastorate that the great prohibition movement began in California, as a result of which Pasadena became a prohibition city, and I think, the first in the state. The fight was a very hotly contested one ... Dr Bresee took a very prominent part in that conflict, so much so, indeed, as to draw the fire of the enemy upon himself. The opponents of prohibition were so aroused that they burned him in effigy, and attacked him in the most vituperative manner in the public press of the city." (Phineas F. Bresee: A Prince in Israel, E. A Girvin, 1916, p. 88)

     "Bresee himself won as much public notice for his efforts to apply Christianity to social problems during his years at Pasadena as he did for his holiness preaching. He was the first to propose that the conference establish mission ot the Orientals, and founded a thriving one in his own city. He also participated in the successful campaign to make Pasadena southern California's first 'dry' town. One of his temperance discourses became somewhat famous as 'Dr. Bresee's hyena sermon.' It so angered the liquor dealers that when the dry forces won out a mob stormed the Methodist parsonage, threatening the pastor's life." Called Unto Holiness: The Story of the Nazarenes: The Formative Years, Timothy L. Smith, Nazarene House, 1962, p. 101)

     "the church today is smitten with weapons more subtle and effective than the sword of Herod of the fires of Nero or Trajan. We are smitten with mildew. We are paralyzed by worldliness. We are buried under forms and pretenses, until the vision is lost, and the testimony in the power of God by manifestation is lost. Men will preach holiness, if there is a place for them. ... Culture without piety is bright and cold and selfish and worldly. To educate a man without piety is likely to make him worse. The gleam of light is brighter and shines further, but it leads into the wilderness of doubt and despair. ... My God let the strands drop down from heaven and call us to take their ends and weave them into an institution where the Holy Ghost with infinite glory can mold culture into young life after the pattern of the heavenlies ... like Abraham will get visions of a city that hath foundations." (Address by Phineas Bresee called "Regnant Manhood," 1913 in Grivin, p. 399-400)

See a contemporary leaders video on justice at vimeo.com/5625656

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