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From: How to Live a Holy Life

We have only one life to live, only one. Think of this for a moment. Here
we are in this world of time making the journey of life. Each day we are
farther from the cradle and nearer the grave. Solemn thought. See the
mighty concourse of human lives; hear their heavy tread in their onward
march. Some are just beginning life's journey; some are midway up the
hill, some have reached the top, and some are midway down the western
slope. But where are we all going? Listen, and you will hear but one
answer--"Eternity." Beyond the fading, dying gleams of the sunset of life
lies a boundless, endless ocean called Eternity. Thitherward you and I are
daily traveling.

Time is like a great wheel going its round. On and on it goes. Some are
stepping on and some are stepping off. But where are these latter
stepping? Into eternity. See that old man with bent form, snow-white
locks, and tottering steps. His has been a long round, but he has made it
at last. See the middle-aged. His round has not been so long, but he must
step off. See the youth. He has been on only a little while, but he is
brought to the stepping-off place. He thought his round would be much
longer. He supposed he was fairly getting started when that icy hand was
laid upon him and the usher said, "Come, you have made your round, and you
must go." The infant that gave its first faint cry this morning may utter
its last feeble wail tonight. And thus they go. But where? Eternity.

If you were to start today and ask each person you met the question,
"Where are you going?" and, if possible, you were to travel the world over
and ask each one of earth's inhabitants, there could be but one answer--

"Oh, eternity,
Long eternity!
Hear the solemn footsteps
Of eternity."

Only one life to live! Only one life, and then we must face vast, endless
eternity. We shall pass along the pathway of life but once. Every step we
take is a step that can never be taken again. With this fact in mind, who
does not feel like calling upon the All-wise to direct his every step. If
when we make a misstep we could go back and step it over, then there would
not be such great necessity to step carefully. But we can never go back.
We are leaving footprints. Just as our steps are, so will the footprints
be which will tell the story of our life. If we had a score of lives to
live, how to live this one would not be of such great moment. We should
then have nineteen lives in which to correct the errors and sins of this
one; but alas! we have but one. What, then, should we seek more earnestly
than to know how to live?

We doubt not but there is in the heart of the reader a strong desire to
live life as it should be lived. Thank God, you can. You desire your life
to be like the fertile oasis, where the weary traveler refreshes himself.
You have seen the rays of light lingering upon the hillside and treetop
and gilding the fleecy cloud after the sun had gone down. You desire the
beautiful rays of light from your life to linger long after your sun has
gone down. You can have it that way. The deeds you do will live after you
are gone. They are the footprints. Some one has said that we each day are
here building the house we are going to occupy in eternity. If this be
true, nothing should concern us so much as how to live. Some men are
devoting their time and the power of their intellects to invention; some
are studying statesmanship; some are studying the arts, others the
sciences; but we have come to learn a little more about how to live. Many
are thinking much about how they wish to die, but let us learn how to
live. If we live well, we shall die well.

Since we have but one life to live and with it we must face eternity, I am
sure there are many who want to make the most of life. There are many who
want to be their best in life. This is not a play-ground, or a place to
trifle with time. It is a place of work and effort, a place of purpose and
earnestness, a place to do something. Life is not given us to squander nor
fritter away, but was given us to accomplish a purpose in the mind of the
Creator. If we will set ourselves to live as we should, God will help us
and no man can hinder us. We are purchasing treasures for eternity by
making a proper use of time. To trifle away time is indeed to be the
greatest of spendthrifts. If you squander a dollar, you may regain it; but
a moment wasted can never be regained.

There is great responsibility in life. It means much to live. The time was
when you and I were not, now we are. We are, and there can never come a
time when we shall not be. You and I shall always exist somehow,
somewhere. One sweet thought to me is that I have time enough to do all
that God intends for me to do, and do it well. Then comes another
thought--a thought that awes: the good that I do, the sum of my
usefulness, will be less than it should be if I spend a moment of time
uselessly. God will give us all the time we need to accomplish all he
purposes us to accomplish, but he does not give us one moment to trifle

The mission of this little volume is to strengthen and energize and help
you to spend life as you should. May it please the Great Teacher, who has
promised to "show us the path of life," to bless this little work and by
it help some one to a pure and noble life and to the accomplishment of all
God's design in giving them life.

The Author.


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