Editor's Letters

by T. Austin-Sparks

January-February 1963

Dear Fellow-members of Christ,

With this issue of A Witness and a Testimony we commence its thirty-seventh year of ministry. Firstly we acknowledge the faithful mercy and grace of the One who called us to it, in the wonderful way in which He has sustained and provided all through these years; years fraught with no small conflict, pressure, and deep history. Quite a volume could be written of the experiences of this large segment of a lifetime. We can truly say with the Apostle: "Having received the help which comes from God, we continue unto this day"; and we are not saying a small thing when we say that.

We began with a vision. We believe that it was a God-given vision. This belief has been supported by many evidences, seeing that we have never made any effort at propaganda or advertisement. The vision was of a ministry in and through a Centre to which and from which the Lord's people of all the world could come and go with a fuller knowledge and enrichment of Himself. Into this vision the Lord brought others who have gone to many parts carrying - not another's ministry or vision, but - what the Lord has shown to them, and led them into. We have steadfastly endeavoured to keep this ministry available to all the Lord's people, and avoid anything that is in the nature of exclusiveness, separateness, or sectarianism. With the advance of years, changes in personnel, understanding, and apprehension are inevitable, but, so far as this paper is concerned, we hope to maintain its original purpose; but, we trust, with growing richness, until its mission is terminated. We pray that it may ever be bread for the hungry; life in the battle with death; light for those who seek it; and - in all - a contribution to that one heart-purpose of the Father, the fulness of His Son, our Lord Jesus.

We do truly thank all who have given, and continue to give, their spiritual as well as material support. We are very slow to believe that we count for much, but, if the letters we receive from so many, are to be taken seriously, there would be reason to believe that the labour and battle is not in vain.

May the Lord make 1963 a year of great increase to - and of - Himself.

Yours in His grace,

P.S. I should be very grateful for special prayer for guidance in these coming months. It would seem that ministry at Honor Oak can now be fully assumed by other brothers and that my own way would be further afield, if the Lord still needs this voice. Another period in the United States seems probable in the immediate future.

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.