Twenty-One Years Ago
John Heading, Aberystwyth
It is with thankfulness that we acknowledge the goodness of God in the production and distribution of Precious Seed over the past twenty-one years. To launch a new magazine in the difficult days immediately after the second world war was a tremendous undertaking, an undertaking initiated by a few brethren who, trusting in God, had a love for His truth. They recognised the great need (still with us today) for a reaffirmation of New Testament Church Principles with a view to their practical expression in assembly life and service. Of these brethren only four now remain on the Committee; the others, with one exception, are now with the Lord. The one exception, Mr. H. C. Roles, regretfully resigned because of business pressures. The first meeting to discuss the possibility of producing a new magazine took place in the Octagon Chapel, Taunton, Somerset, on April 21st, 1945, and in September of that year the first issue of Precious Seed was printed and distributed. This first issue exceeded 2,000 copies, all of which had been asked for; the same thing is true of the 17,500 copies printed today. We have always refrained from any indiscriminate distribution of Precious Seed; copies are only sent to those who wish to receive them.
After twenty-one years, the policy of the magazine remains the same; it is, as stated in each issue, “A magazine for encouraging the study of New Testament Church Principles and stimulating interest in Gospel work in the British Isles”. It is our conviction now, as it was then, that well-balanced instruction in New Testament Church teaching is essential if the special testimony committed to assemblies is to be maintained. Nor have we forgotten other vital aspects of Christian doctrine and practice, as the recently published Index to the 1945-1963 issues will show. Our interest in Gospel work is seen in the Reports Section, a section that is intended to report, not only encouragements and difficulties experienced in Gospel testimony and ministry meetings, but new (and at the same time, spiritual) ideas and methods of service in these particular fields. It is clear that if new converts are to be brought into local assemblies, evangelistic work must be encouraged.
At the moment, we are considering ways and means of expanding the usefulness of Precious Seed. Meanwhile, if magazine correspondents know of assemblies new or old who wish to receive copies of the magazine, the Secretary, Mr. C. Gahan, would be glad to have the information. Revised orders for the magazine should be sent to Mr. A. G. R. Jones as soon as possible, in order that the mailing list can be revised for the November-December issue. Copies of back numbers for readers wishing to consult special articles, or as a medium of information for the benefit of possible new readers, may be freely obtained from Mr. E. London. A useful companion to Precious Seed, the recently printed Index, can be obtained from Dr. J. Heading at sixpence per copy.
Finally, we would record our grateful thanks to the very many readers who have encouraged us with their letters of appreciation, and to those especially who have enriched the pages of Precious Seed with their literary contributions.