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Sydney Harbour Bridge 1 Jan. 2000 A.D.
Sydney Harbour  Bridge about 0:00am 1 January 2000 A.D

The Life & Legacy Of MrEternity
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Long before the giant word Eternity sparkled with splendor as it was emblazoned across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it was first written by the hand of one man.

This one-word message was written over 500,000 times on the footpaths of its suburbs and 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 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,
S  T A C E  and tell his story of sin, salvation, surrender, and sweet victory in the light of his dynamic relationship with Christ Jesus, the Lord of Eternity.

SINFUL PAST - his condition before Christ

Mr A. StaceArthur Malcolm STACE was born in the Balmain slums, in 1884. His parents wereaddicted 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 and milk, and searching for scrap food in garbage bins. His schooling was almost non-existent, and by the age of 12 young Arthur had become a state ward.

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. In his twenties he was a scout for his sisters' brothels in seedy inner city surburb of  Surry Hills.

TURNING POINT - his conversion toChrist

Saint Barnabus Church at BroadwayThe spiritual new birth, of turning from sin to trusting the Saviour, took place on the night of August 6th, 1930. The conception commenced as the Holy Spirit of God planted the seed of the Word of God, preached by the servant of God, Rev. R. D. S. Hammond, at St Barnabas’ Church in Broadway.

The conviction continued as he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God , realised that he was a sinner before God and recognized that the saving grace is the gift of God.

His conversion was complete, shortly after he left the meeting in St Barnabas. He walked across the road to Victoria Park and, under a big old Morton Bay fig tree, he repented of sin towards God and received Christ Jesus as his sin bearer. He became a child of God, and immediately experienced peace with God as he entered into a relationship with God.

ANOINTED MESSAGE- his conviction byChrist

Burton St Baptist Tabernacle

Two years later, on Sunday night November 14, 1932 at the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle, Darlinghurst, the Holy Spirit who had previously convicted Arthur of his sinful condition, had another important message for him.

This message came through God's anointed servant the late John G Ridley MC, as he preached that evening on "The echoes of Eternity", from Isaiah chapter 57 v15:
"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."

Mr J. G. RidleyThe veteran evangelist, stood with the power of scripture in his hand and the love of Christ in his heart, and stressed the wordEternity. 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 had been 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 its eternal punishing consequences. His concern, however, was not for himself because his sins had been forgiven that blessed night when 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".

Mr Eternity"Eternity went ringing through my brain" was Stace's own statement "and suddenly I began crying and 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 - yourchoice 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.

The Lord Jesus Christ said, "......Ye must be born again." (John 3:7)

What the Eternal Almighty God did to, in and throughArthur Stace, He is willing and able 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 Christ  you are choosing to spend Eternity  in hell. If you receive Christ 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 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:

Eternity on the footpath

Dear God

"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 (Jan.AD 2000)

Peter Rahme AD 2001. - 40 Cardigan Road NSW 2190 Australia Tel (+61 2) 97425716   Fax (+61 2) 97425715; 

Resources: The Crooked Made Straight- Rev Lisle M Thompson; The Passing Of Mr eternity- J G Ridley; The Story Of Arthur Stace- Keith Dunstan.  
Photos supplied by: Ramon Williams; A scene from the film "Mr Eternity" by Susan MacKinnon  (* email s.mackinnon@ozemail.com.au");  Eternity on the Sydney Harbour Bridge,  -C. Kirton and W. Cardwell Eternity Production Design;  Arthur Stace-Rex Beaver;  St Barnabas’ Church, - Rev R Forsyth

For more on Evangelist John G.Ridley visit www.johngridley.org.au

The life & legacy of Mr. Eternity- the story & the song is available on CD.

To order copies of the CD -contact the writer – See details above

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