"... reaching forth unto those things which are before ...
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 3:13-14)

We gratefully acknowledge the work which Paul Redin has done in transcribing and offering these magazines to Austin-Sparks.Net. Unless otherwise noted, words and phrases in square brackets [] were added by him.

Introductory Notes
by Paul Redin

General comments:

Toward The Mark, a bi-monthly magazine edited and published by Harry Foster, was a continuation of the ministry begun by Mr. Austin-Sparks in A Witness and A Testimony. Mr. W. E. (Bill) Thompson, who has the responsibility and oversight of Mr. Foster's estate, has graciously given his permission to publish on the Internet the articles in Toward The Mark , of which he is the copyright owner, in the form they appear here.

The first thing to note about the articles in Toward The Mark is that they are "Christ-honoring". The second thing to note is that they are intended to build up the body of Christ, to be 'spiritual food' for believers, especially Christian workers. As such, they were well received by their readers when originally published. It is my hope that they will be equally well received by many believers today who read them via the Internet.

The main thrust of these articles, a theme that appears over and over, is to promote "a growing heart knowledge of the Lord". This knowledge is not to stop at the heart, however, but is to be displayed in every believer's outward behavior. A prime example of this emphasis is the article,
The Renewed Mind and the Transformed Life , by J. Alec Motyer (Vol.10, No.3, p.45). Another good example is Absolute Priority , by Harry Foster (Vol.13, No.4, p.61). Also, statements similar to the following by T. Austin-Sparks appear repeatedly:

"If we are to be trained to face and conquer the spiritual enemies of God's purposes, then we need that Bible truths should be wrought into our own personal experience so that we become embodiments of those truths. No teaching will ever be true teaching if it is not worked out in experience. And it is in the House of God, the related life together of believers, that such experience is obtained." (Vol.10, No.6, p.120)

And, to hammer the point home, here is Harry Foster on why he chose the name Toward The Mark :

"When I had to choose a title for this magazine I finally decided on the words 'Toward The Mark' (Php. 3:14) because I felt that they helped to convey a sense that those of us who contributed and those who read are all partners together in the enterprise of progress towards the goal of likeness to Christ. This is the atmosphere of this Epistle from which the words were chosen. My beloved friend, Poul Madsen, already edited a Danish magazine called Mod Molet which means just the same. I took the phrase from him as well as from the apostle Paul because the idea behind the words is to avoid any suggestion that we have arrived and are now proposing to help others on their way also to perfection. Rather I wanted to underline that we -- like the apostle himself -- are seeking to practise together that fellowship of the Spirit which urges us to press on together in pursuit of our on-high calling." (Vol.18, No.5, p.90-91)

Publishing notes:

Toward The Mark was published bi-monthly (six issues per year) and was distributed by mail (or 'post') without cost to many appreciative readers. The articles were printed in four columns of text on both sides of five sheets of 9 X 14-1/2 in. paper that, when folded double and fold-stapled together with a folded cover, formed a magazine measuring 7-1/4 in. wide by 9 in. high containing 20 pages of two-column text. The pages were numbered consecutively each year beginning with No. 1, page 1, and ending with No. 6, page 120. The average number of words per issue was about 16,500.

The table of contents was on the inside front cover. A title banner was printed at the top of the first page of text in each issue of Vol. 1. Beginning with Vol. 2, this banner was printed at the top of the inside front cover. Also beginning with Vol. 2, a Scripture verse 'motto for the year' was printed on the back cover. See below for images of the front cover.

The following notice appeared on the inside front cover of Vol. 1: "There is no subscription for this bi-monthly magazine, but its cost is met by the gifts of appreciative readers." Beginning with Vol. 2 and continuing through Vol. 16, this notice was changed to read: "This bi-monthly magazine is devoted to expository messages from the Word of God. It is sent freely, on request. All the costs are met by the gifts of appreciative readers." This notice was omitted in Vols. 17 & 18.

Transcription notes:

This transcription of the articles in Toward The Mark adheres to the original as closely as practical with the following intended exceptions:

1. The original two-column page format was replaced by a one-column format with each paragraph delimited by a blank line rather than by first-line indentation. Original pagination is indicated within square brackets embedded in the text. For example, [21/22] indicates the end of page 21 and the beginning of page 22.

2. A short centered line of 16 hyphens was inserted to indicate the end of each article and to separate various other blocks of information.

3. Each footnote was moved to its appropriate place within the text.

4. Each 'em dash' was replaced with two hyphens.

5. Obvious typographical errors were corrected; when doubtful, no change was made. British spelling and punctuation were retained throughout.


Cover of first issue
(Used for Vol. 1)
First cover (18Kb)
Cover of last issue
(Used for Vols. 2 - 18)
                                  cover (45Kb)

  • Alphabetical
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