Arthur Stace was brought up in Sydney, Australia in a home in which his father was a drunkard and his mother ran a brothel. Early in life he began to drink himself and alcohol got such a grip on his life that he was soon reduced to drinking mentholated spirits and stealing food to stay alive.
When he was forty-six he found himself in ‘a centre for needy men’. It was a place that provided food for those who were down and out but before they received the refreshments they had to listen to a Gospel message. That day God spoke to him and after the service he went out into University Park and kneeled under a fig tree and asked Jesus Christ to be his Saviour. There was a great change in his life and the Holy Spirit now gave him the power to resist the temptation of alcohol; even when his friends continued to invite him to come out drinking with them.
About two years after his conversion he heard a preacher say he would like to go through the streets of Sydney shouting the word ‘Eternity’. As Arthur listened he determined that he would go through the streets of Sydney and write the word Eternity on the roads and pavements – and he did just that for the next thirty-three years until his death in 1967. Approximately every one hundred yards he wrote ‘Eternity’ and it is estimated that he wrote that one word half a million times.
Many news reports were made about the word ‘Eternity’ appearing all over Sydney. At first they didn’t know who the mysterious writer was, so he became known in the city as ‘Mr. Eternity’. In the 1990’s an Australian TV network made a documentary about Arthur that was shown all across Australia. Then in July 1997 they erected a plaque in Sydney Square as a permanent memory to him with the word ‘Eternity’ upon it. But the greatest acknowledgement of Arthur’s impact upon Sydney was the fact that as part of their millennium celebrations the city officials had the word Eternity, displayed in lights, on the Sydney harbour Bridge for millions of viewers to see.
All Arthur Stace wanted people to do was to think about Eternity and that is what I want to encourage you to do. As we have just entered into a new year the temptation is to be taken up with time but let me exhort you to give earnest consideration to eternity. Remember eternity is real, it will never end and it is vital that you think of the question – Where will you spend eternity?
Entry from the Paper Pulpit – By Rev. David McMillian