The Life & Legacy of Mr Eternity
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17)
Long before the giant single word Eternity was sparkled with splendor, as it was emblazoned across on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it was first written by the hand of one man.
This one-word sermon was written over 500.000 times on the footpaths of its suburbs & beyond, in beautiful copperplate style. Wherever this word appeared it mystified some and fascinated others. The mystery was," who wrote it?"
When the mystery man was finally discovered the Sydney press nicknamed him Mr. Eternity but his real name was Arthur STACE.
Where did Arthur Stace come from? How was he raised? What was so special about him? And why did God use him?
As we trace the life and pay tribute to the legacy of Mr. Eternity, let's take his surname, STACE and tell his story of sin, salvation, surrender and sweet victory in the light of his dynamic relationship with Christ the Lord of Eternity.
SINFUL PAST - his condition before Christ.
Arthur Malcolm STACE was born in Sydney's Balmain slums in 1884. His parents were addicted to alcohol and consequently young Arthur was brought up neglected and needy in an atmosphere of poverty. As a result much of his childhood was spent stealing bread & milk, and searching for scrap food out in garbage bins. His schooling almost non-existent, young Arthur had become a state ward by the age of 12.
Things got much worse as he entered the turbulent teenage years. He became a heavy drinker, and by the tender age of 15 he was sent to jail.
In his adolescence he worked as "a look out" for police for those who ran illegal gambling dens. Later in his twenties, he was a scout for his sisters' brothels in the seedy inner Surry hills.
TURNING POINT- his conversion to Christ
The new birth, of turning from sin to trusting the Saviour, took place on the night of the August 6th, 1930.
The conception commenced as the Holy Spirit of God planted the seed of the word of God preached by Rev.R.D.S. Hammond the servant of God, at St Barnabas church in Broadway.
The conviction continued as he heard to the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God, he realized that he was a sinner before God and recognized that the saving grace is the gift of God.
His conversion was complete, shortly after, as he left the meeting in St Barnabas. He walked across the road to Victoria Park, and under an old big Morton Bay fig tree he repented of sin towards God, and received Christ Jesus, as his Lord and Saviour. He became a child of God. And immediately experienced peace with God, as he entered into a relationship with God
ANOINTED MESSAGE -his conviction by Christ
A few years later on a Sunday night of November 14th1942, at the Burton St Baptist Tabernacle, Darlinghurst, the Holy Spirit who had previously convicted the soul of Arthur Stace of his sin condition had another important message for him.
The message came through God's anointed servant, the late John G Ridley M.C. as he preached that evening on "The echoes of eternity from Isaiah chapter 57 vs. 15:" "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth Eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."
The veteran evangelist stood with the power of scripture in his hand and the love of Christ in his heart, and stressed the word Eternity. He pointed out how the echoes of Eternity are heard not only in creation and in the Christian, but also in the cross. Then suddenly, laying his prepared notes aside and seemingly in an impromptu fashion, the highly disciplined soldier-like preacher, raised his loud voice and cried: "Eternity Eternity, I wish that I could sound or shout that word to everyone in the streets of Sydney. You've got to meet it, where will you spend Eternity"**
CALL TO WRITE -- his consecration for Christ.
Arthur Stace was one of many in the large congregation that God-ordained night. This faithful, teachable and obedient servant has been obedient and active since his conversion from an old life in crime and sin to the new life in Christ and service.
As he sat taking in the eternal word of God, preached forthrightly, from the heart and lips of Australia's beloved evangelist, Arthur Stace was yet again, confronted with sin and it's eternal punishing consequences. His concern, however, was not for himself because his sins had been forgiven since that blessed night, where he cried " Lord be merciful to me a sinner". But it was for the sake of those still without Christ. Once more his sensitive heart responded to God, this time "here am I Lord send me".
" Eternity went ringing through my brain" was Stace's own statement" and suddenly I begun crying & felt a powerful call from the Lord to write Eternity. I had a piece of chalk in my pocket and outside the church I bent down right there and wrote it…. The funny thing is that before I wrote it I could hardly write my own name. I had no schooling and I couldn't have spelt Eternity for a hundred quid. But it came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. I couldn't understand it, and I still can't."*
ETERNITY- your choice to receive Christ?
God has personally written to you to prepare you for Eternity. This most important message must be read and received by all from his creation in Adam to his children in Christ.
What the Eternal Almighty God did to, in and through Arthur Stace, He is willing to do for you, but first you must answer one question. "Where will you spend Eternity?"
Your decision here and now on earth will determine your destiny there and then in Eternity
If you refuse and reject The Lord Jesus Christ you are choosing to spend Eternity in hell,
If you receive HIM you will spend Eternity in heaven and rejoice evermore.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Jesus said…., I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Let me encourage you to bow your heart before your Maker and creator right now, and believe on The Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Saviour and become his child for time and eternity. It only requires 3 simple yet heart believed expressions
(This is a suggested prayer)
I am sorry that I have sinned against you and I turn away from my sins.
Please forgive me and be merciful to me a sinner.
Thank you for saving me and giving me a new life.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
With the love of Christ
Peter Rahme, January A.D.2000
Text ©Peter Rahme AD 2000. - 40 Cardigan Rd Greenacre NSW 2190 Australia Tel (+61 2) 9742 5716; Fax (+61 2) 9742 5716; Email:
Website: www.innerwestbaptist.org.au **The messenger &message behind Mr Eternity 60min Audio Tape is available; The life & legacy of Mr. Eternity- the story & the song is available on CD. For more copies or for the full article of this abridged version or the 60 minutes audio tape, contact the writer.
Resources: The Crooked Made Straight- Rev Lisle M Thompson; The Passing of Mr Eternity- J G Ridley; The Story of Arthur Stace- Keith Dunstan