"T. Austin-Sparks - A memorial of His life and teachings"
Very shortly after his departure in 1971, the Norfolk Christian Gathering of Norfolk, Virginia, issued a statement of "MEMORIES AND THANKSGIVING FOR THE DIVINE CALLING, LIFE, AND MINISTRY OF GOD'S SERVANT - T. AUSTIN-SPARKS." That statement read, in part:
"We thank the Lord that ... the distinctive emphasis and message of the Word revealed to Brother Sparks reached us in America years ago through "A Witness and a Testimony," it's associated literature, and his personal visits for conferences...
"We thank the Lord that ... in his person and his messages, the Lord enabled Brother Sparks to bring fresh spiritual values out of living experience - messages wrought in him - evidencing the illumination of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and of the Father's eternal purpose in His Son. All of our brother's spoken and written ministry came to us as bearing the unction and imprimatur of the Holy Spirit ...
"We thank the Lord that ... He gave our brother that much-needed ministry for the remnant of this current end-time period. By it we were greatly encouraged in faith to 'go on' into God's full purpose in spite of misunderstandings.
"In his spoken and written ministry the Lord has bequeathed to us a great legacy of truth - a trust so vital that it imposes on us a serious challenge and responsibility ..."
Because we brothers have been spiritually enriched in such great measure over a forty-year span by Rev. Sparks ministry, we are deeply concerned to make some little part of that wealth available to others. So for the following pages we have culled a number of choice passages from Rev. Sparks writings - though mostly from "A Witness and a Testimony" magazine covering the years 1941 through 1971.
Our desire and hope for these pages - reflecting in a small way, Rev. Sparks' own heavy burden through many years of service and suffering - are that they may contribute to the building up of others to more mature spiritual stature, and as a consequence further their preparation for the Lord's return. May He do it in all of us!
[This is the introduction to a book entitled, "Words of Wisdom and Revelation" which I will occasionally post articles to my blogs and to Facebook. I took the liberty to use the title "Rev." for Austin-Sparks. He was a Baptist minister for many years and, then, deciding that he wanted no recognition for himself, he himself removed the title from his name. He wanted Christ to have all, and total, glory for whatever he accomplished in His writings under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. With the same thought in mind, T. Austin-Sparks never used his full name on his books and articles. He preferred simply "TAS."]