Only One Life

by C.T. Studd, 1860-1931

Charles Thomas (C.T.) Studd was an English missionary to China, India, and lastly within Sudan where he founded the Heart of Africa Mission. C.T. Studd also wrote several books including The Chocolate Soldier in which he boldly encouraged Christians in evangelism and giving all for Jesus Christ in this life. Prior to his commitment to the Lord to serve overseas C.T. was an accomplished cricketer having represented both Cambridge University and Eton College in England. In 1882, C.T. Studd played for England against Australia in what turned out to be the origin of The Ashes, a Test cricket series still played between England and Australia. The following poem, Only One Life, expresses C.T.’s heartfelt commitment to serve the Lord while leaving temporal earthly distractions behind.

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His judgment seat; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears; Each with its days I must fulfill, Living for self or in His will; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score; When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep; Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn; Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say, “Thy will be done”; And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “’twas worth it all”; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

 

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