The Eternity Man.

Updated on February 10, 2018

History of Arthur Stace - a legend in his own time.

This is the story of Arthur Stace, who was dubbed the Eternity man by the press.

He was born in Balmain, Sydney in 1885 and died in 1967, aged 83. Born into abject poverty and made a ward of the state at 12 and at 14 he was an habitual drunk, reduced to drinking metho at sixpence a bottle and was pretty much homeless. As a petty criminal, he wound up in jail at 15. In 1911 at age 26 he enlisted in the Army for WW1, where he was almost blinded from a bomb blast. On returning home his alcoholism only got worse.

One day, along with others of his falling, he was attending a church meeting before being given a free meal - attendance of the meeting qualified you for a cup of tea and a rock cake. It was during this meeting that the preacher was shouting, Eternity, Eternity, Oh where will you spend eternity......This message of eternity had a very profound effect on him and after the meal he was sitting in a park opposite and broke down. It was then he decided to turn his life over to God.

He had a stick of yellow chalk in his pocket and there and then he bent down and wrote the word Eternity on the sidewalk. Bear in mind he had no schooling and was illiterate, he couldn't read let alone write his name properly, yet the word Eternity was written in a beautiful Copperplate script, which he couldn't understand how. Every morning very early, long before most had risen, he would get up and walk the streets of Sydney and he would write Eternity, always in yellow chalk, on street corners, sidewalks, sides of buildings - everywhere. Hence he became known as the Eternity man. It could have been because of the beauty of the writing that won the attention, if it was in his own illiterate scrawl it wouldn't have gained a second look. It was a one-word-sermon and was intended to make people think. He began writing this word in 1932 and continued every day for 34 years, almost to his death.

I saw this word many times in my teens and like so many I always wondered who he was until one day late in his life, someone saw him writing it and said to him - you're the Eternity man!!!

His reply was, "guilty your honour" and his secret was finally revealed. I have never forgotten the word Eternity, nor would many Sydneysiders who saw it. I sincerely hope we would all think on the word Eternity and what it means.

Over the years I would often recall that word and it moved me so much that I even considered doing a similar thing because of my own thoughts of so many who are just drifting toward a lost eternity without a care. I knew what I wanted to say and I would also have written it in Copperplate and yellow chalk but because it is an offence to deface sidewalks etc., and the fact there are so many surveillance cameras everywhere these days it wouldn't be too long before I was before the courts. So perhaps there is a better way to get my message out there and that is what I am trying to do here.

As Arthur's message contained just one word, and he kept doing it for the last 34 years of his life, which had a huge impact and I doubt if there were many who never saw it - even today if you ask those of my generation about it, they all remember it. Where Arthur used one word, I've used three.

You may be skeptical of my words and please remember I am NOT talking about the return of Jesus, no-one knows that day except God, but scripture HAS left some compelling clues as to the start of Tribulation and just as Arthur's one-word-sermon was intended to make you think, so is mine.

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