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[349] changed by the Holy Spirit, so that, ever since, my life has been entirely different from what it was before. A complete change was wrought in me, affecting my motives as well as my outward conduct. I took an interest in many things which before I had been averse to, and I began then to have something of an aim in living, which I had not been conscious of before. Previously I had been inclined to wander from the path of rectitude, and found more delight in doing wrong than in doing right; but now I had a desire to lead an honest, upright life. In May, 1850, I became a member of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church.

I remained at the High School till April, 1851, when my father thought it best I should leave and learn a trade. Accordingly I became an apprentice to my brother, who had just established himself in business, to learn the carriage-painter's trade. Obliged to do the drudgery which, owing to the peculiar nature of the business, is very hard and disagreeable, I was much discontented for a while, and more than once partially determined to give it up, and go into something else; but as I had agreed to stay until I was of age, I finally made up my mind to be contented, and learn the trade as well as I could. As I learned more of the business, by degrees it became pleasant to me, and in due time, my apprenticeship being over, the man with whom I had worked when I became free (my brother having changed his business) offered to employ me as a journeyman at good wages; so that I probably gave him satisfaction as a workman.

In January, 1855, I joined the Mechanic Apprentices' Library Association, a society formed, as its name implies, for the benefit of the apprentices of Boston and vicinity. Here I enjoyed the privilege of reading many books which I could not get elsewhere, and, as I was fond of reading, I appreciated it highly. The few months that I was a member of this Association was the pleasantest part of my whole apprenticeship, and often have I regretted that I did not know of its existence earlier, so that I might have had the benefit of a longer membership. So anxious was I to attend the meetings of the Association, and to get books from the library, that I considered it no hardship to walk in and out from Boston in the evening twice, and often three times, a week. My connection with this institution has had a great deal of influence upon my life. . . . . I began to entertain the idea that possibly I might at some time go to college. . . . .

I had the honor of being elected by them to deliver the address upon the occasion of the Thirty-sixth Anniversary of the Association.

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