Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

January-February 1952

Beloved of God,

With this issue of "A WITNESS AND A TESTIMONY" another year is entered upon. While we are not children of time, but of eternity, by reason of "the eternal life" which we have received as the gift of God's grace, our connection with this world is at present marked out in years and days. We send you our greetings and prayerful assurances of fellowship, praying that this year may indeed be one of "his increase".

We do rejoice in all the assurances and appreciations which have come from your side through the past years, and are constantly checked from despairing of fruitfulness by the flow of letters telling of help received. It is against our principle to say anything that would look like advertisement, propaganda, or 'glorying in the flesh', but we can - for your own strengthening - say that there are very few countries in this world to which this little paper does not go by the personal request of those who declare its helpfulness to their spiritual life and ministry. It is a wonderful story of something that the Lord has been doing for over a quarter of a century, and is still doing in a spontaneous way.

What is its purpose? In this creation the whole natural trend is downward. Nothing is elevated, improved, or developed without a battle and a cost. This is particularly true in the realm of spiritual fulness. The whole battle is against the forces of declension, retrogression and mediocrity. Every Christian knows how true that is, and every special effort and provision for spiritual helpfulness is a witness to it. This ministry is reactionary in the right sense, reactionary against this whole tendency. It is thrown into battle for "the fulness of Christ" against earth-boundness, against nominalism, against spiritual complacency, false contentedness; against all that is less or other than all that Christ represents of God's eternal purpose.

If the forces of evil can cause the people of God to accept a position, measure, and occupation less than all the vast fulness eternally intended, they will do so by any means, foul or fair. It is therefore essential that the people of God shall have a ministry which keeps them in vision, for "where there is no vision the people go to pieces".

Thus, the message on vision in this issue [Vision and Vocation], and those which follow [The Mount of Vision], constitute the real ministry to which we feel called. Everything is related to that, and no one who reads these pages can say that the vision is small or indefinite. It is by vision that inspiration destroys despair; by vision unification destroys disintegration; by vision boldness supplants cowardice; and much more.

We pray that you, through these pages, may see "the heavenly vision", and in seeing be "not disobedient" to it. So, when we have spent our years, and fulfilled our ministry in the light of the ever-growing revelation of "his fulness", may we - "his servants... serve him" (yet) and "see his face"; having missed nothing of all His glorious purpose.

The Lord be with you.

Yours in His grace,
T. Austin-Sparks

In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks' wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely - free of any changes, free of any charge (except necessary distribution costs) and with this statement included.