Editor's Letters
by T. Austin-Sparks

September-October 1931

The "Witness and Testimony"

We have often had enquiries as to the title of this paper. Apparently the two words, "Witness" and "Testimony," convey the same idea to many minds, and the title seems to them to be but a repetition of the same thing. At the time when from being but the magazine of a local church it moved out into its world-wide ministry - a ministry which has continuously grown and is widening with every issue, so that there are very few nations into which the paper does not go - we asked the Lord for a title which would rightly represent the position to which He had brought us. This title came to us very clearly, and we believe from Him.

In Psalm 66:16 we have these words, "I will declare what He hath done for my soul." There are two sides to this. One is the one who is speaking, as personally representing something done by the Lord. The other is the telling forth, or the message which he gives. One is the Witness himself, the other is the testimony given out. It is in this sense that our title is what it is. The Lord has done something, and is doing something in us, constituting us a witness on experimental ground. Out of His dealings with us there grows the message which we have, and so the "Testimony." It is always important to remember that for a message to be vital and effective it must be wrought out and kept closely in touch with the living person or persons who give it. This is not something done and finished with, but something ever deepening and expanding. For a message to be kept in life the messenger must be kept in the path of living experience in relation to the message.

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