In the Sunday-school library I met Charles W. Wendte, then a clerk in the Bank of California. He had been befriended and inspired by Starr King and soon turned from business and studied for the ministry. He is now a D.D. and has a long record of valuable service.
In 1869 J.C.A. Hill became superintendent of the school and appointed me his assistant. Four years later he returned to New Hampshire, much to our regret, and I succeeded him. With the exception of the two years that Rev. William G. Eliot, Jr., was assistant to Dr. Stebbins, and took charge of the school, I served until 1914.
Very many pleasant memories cluster around my connection with the Sunday-school. The friendships made have been enduring. The beautiful young lives lured me on in service that never grew monotonous, and I have been paid over and over again for all I ever gave. It is a great satisfaction to feel that five of our nine church trustees are graduates of the Sunday-school. I attended my first Christmas festival of the Sunday-school in Platt’s Hall in 1864, and I have never missed one since. Fifty-seven consecutive celebrations incidentally testify to unbroken health.
In looking back on what I have gained from the church, I am impressed with the fact that the association with the fine men and women attending it has been a very important part of my life. Good friends are of untold value, and inspiration is not confined to the spoken words of the minister. Especially am I impressed with the stream of community helpfulness that has flowed steadily from our church all these years. I wish I dared to refer to individual instances—but they are too many. Finally, I must content myself with acknowledgment of great obligation for all I have profited from and enjoyed in church affiliation. I cannot conceive how any man can afford not to avail himself of the privilege of standing by some church. As an investment I am assured that nothing pays better and surer interest. Returns are liberal, dividends are never passed, and capital never depreciates.