Editor's Letters
by T. Austin-Sparks

January-February 1951

As we send out this, the first issue of the 29th year of this printed ministry, we do want to do several things.

Firstly, to acknowledge with deep worship and wonder the faithfulness and grace of God through these years. We are not exaggerating when we say that there has been a very real manifestation of the "exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward", for the enemy has drawn upon all his resources of force, cunning, and malignancy, by every conceivable method, to destroy and end this ministry. We could say that if the enemy could have forced us under or out, that is certainly where we should be. It is with no little meaning and background that we say "having received help from God we continue unto this day". Certainly, it is not by the devil's sponsoring or favour that we have been kept in the way of life and steady enlargement. The Lord only knows at what cost the ministry has been maintained. "Unto him be the glory... for ever".

Then we want to say how greatly we value and appreciate the encouragement and inspiration which has been an unbroken river through the years from those who have received the ministry. Over against the widespread and saddening misapprehension, and opposition, it has been no small help to have letters - volumes of them - from 'ministers', 'missionaries', faithful and experienced servants of the Lord, and numerous children of His in many parts of the world, telling of the value and enrichment which this ministry means to them. We do want you, dear friends, to know how much your fellowship has meant, and still does mean. For your encouragement, we want you to know that the ministry is steadily enlarging and expanding, as we believe it is deepening. By no advertisement, propaganda, or organised effort, in war and in - 'peace' (?), it has been held on its course, and we are constantly astonished by hearing of the remote and altogether unimagined places to which it gets. The Lord has added to our facilities for printing the magazine and literature, but prayer is still greatly needed for both the protection and sustaining of plant and workers, and for further provision for overtaking the very considerable amount of literature which is ready to be printed. Please pray about this.

We do so strongly feel that, like the letters of the apostles, the literature fulfils a ministry far beyond what is possible personally. It will get in where persons cannot go. It will get in when doors are closed to persons. It will - as it has done - be a help to persons to fulfil their ministry. It will be a contribution to the Divinely-appointed and desired end - viz. "till we all attain unto the (full) knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). It is so little realised that the Lord's ordained and normal way is through a Church in life and oneness, and that the "fulness of Christ" is the goal of all. The great enemy is very busy against that, and more than ever - the end being so near - should the Lord's people be on their guard against the suspicions and misapprehensions which serve the enemy's purpose to divide, and thus defeat that great Divine end.

Days are darkening for this world. Souls are languishing and perishing, the number of the elect - the people for His Name out of the nations - has to be completed. The saints have to be built up. To us there is a very real sense of urgency in all this, and we feel that we must - more than ever - 'give ourselves to our ministry'. So, we thank you for your fellowship; we entreat for redoubled prayer co-operation: and we greet you with the greeting of love in our blessed and glorious Lord.

Yours in His bond-service,
T. AUSTIN-SPARKS.

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