The reunion effected some five years ago was not a capricious
action but the result of years of effort by brethren having deep conviction of
the truth and love of the brotherhood. The faults and misunderstandings of some
50 years of division were not overcome in a moment.
Our heartfelt thanks should go out to those brethren who
laboured so patiently to bring about a better understanding amongst brethren and
sisters. Particularly do we acknowledge our great indebtedness to Bro. John
Carter for the wealth of understanding and patience he brought to bear upon the
problems concerning reunion in Australia.
The benefits and fruits of this reunion have been so precious
that all brethren and sisters are urged not only to familiarise themselves with
the history of reunion and the basis upon which it was effected, but to realise
their individual responsibility to do all in their power to preserve the
blessings of this reunion.
Purity of doctrine is essential, but above all, the Truth
must reach the heart and engage the affections. Brethren are urged to avoid
the mistakes of the past, to avoid personalities and discord in the body (1 Cor.
12:20); to cease from all evil speaking, slander, enmity, strife, dissentions,
party spirit, base suspicions, morbid craving for controversy and disputes about
words, all of which things are works of the flesh that destroy unity and
harmony, and will exclude from the Kingdom of God. [1 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:19-21
(R.S.V.); 1 Tim. 6:3-5 (R.S.V.).]
We exhort brethren everywhere to have a deeper appreciation of
the blessings of reunion, to maintain the spirit of Christ amongst us and to
excel in those lovely fruits of the spirit, “love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”
(Gal. 5:22-23 R.S.V.; Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 13 R.S.V.).
It is our sincere prayer that each brother and sister may ever
seek the wellbeing of the brotherhood in love (Rom. 14:19, Phil. 2:4, 1 John
3:14-19; 1 Peter 1:22, John 13:34), and may it please the Father to guide us in
the way of all Truth and to bless all our efforts to “maintain the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.