INTRODUCTION.





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--

"Eternity."



"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

away.



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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