( Originally Published 1902 )
A SHORT time ago, a religious newspaper offered a valuable prize to the person who had the longest unbroken Sunday School record. The offer included all the territory of the United States and Canada. Samuel Winterton, of Keyport, N. J., got the prize. He had attended the Sunday School of the First Baptist Church of that town seventeen hundred-and-thirty-two consecutive days. On Sunday, May 26, 1901, this Sunday School celebrated the 1,961st Sunday of his attendance. When he was five years of age, he entered the school, and has been present at every session since for thirty-eight years. Teachers have come and gone, the membership of the school has changed, but he has remained. Though he is an excellent Bible student, knowing many passages of Scripture by heart, he has preferred to remain in a class, and be taught. He is an expressman, and recently had a bad fall from his wagon; it was feared that his Sunday School record would have to be brought to an end, but on the following Sunday, with his broken arm in splints, he appeared in his place in the class as usual. Mr. Winterton ought to be thankful for the health which has enabled him to hold such a record, and more thankful still for the disposition he has had to be so constant to his duty. What a value the world puts upon constancy in any department of life ! How invaluable it is in the spiritual world ; in the development of the individual character and in the establishment of the divine kingdom ! Constancy in the outward observance of Christian duty is exceedingly important; if every member were to attend the preaching services, the Sunday School, the prayer meeting, and other means of grace, whenever possible, how much better type of Christians, and how much thriftier churches we would have.