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[183] and then around the hill. The crowd around the monument greeted the head of the procession with cheers as it hove in sight.

It was after 12 o'clock when Colonel W. J. Sanford, of Opelika, the chairman, in a few appropriate sentences, introduced Rev. Dr. George B. Eager to open the exercises with a prayer. Dr. Eager delivered an eloquent invocation, as follows:

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Thou hast taught us to cherish our yesterdays, to “ call to remembrance the former days,” even though they be days of darkness wherein we endured a great fight of affliction. Standing to-day under the shadow of a great loss, but in the light of Thy love, we realize that it is greatly wise to commune with our past hours. We come to recall our precious and immortal dead who poured out their lives as a holy libation upon the altar of their country, verily believing that they were doing God's service. O come to consecrate this completed and enduring monument to the memory of those whom we loved, and cherish for their lofty devotion to duty and fidelity even unto death; who laid the heart of the South at the feet of God with their wounds to tell the story.

Help us, O God, to come in faith and with fit speech, remembering that Thou art God over all blessed forevermore, that Thy kingdom ruleth over all, that Thou sendest the darkness as well as the light, and that Thou hast given us “songs in the night.” We pray Thee to imbue us with the spirit that actuated them and made their lives glorious, to help us to cherish the principles for which they died, and teach us in Thine own wise way the lessons of this hour and occasion. We recognise that Thy wisdom is higher than ours, and that Thy burning and purifying love is ever at work illuminating our ignorance, consuming the dross of our earthliness and bringing out the gold of character which is our true riches. Thou hast given us the grievous discipline of defeat and tears, Thou hast carried us through a, long, hard schooling in a school where everything was difficult and there was constant clashing with our will. It has been bitter and hard upon us, O God, and often when we sought light and help it seemed at such cloudy distances that we could not realize its ministry. But we bless Thee, O, Thou God, of infinite wisdom and love, that by faith we have learned at last that all is well because Thou hast done it, that behind a frowning providence Thou did'st hide a smiling face.

We bless Thee for a reunited country, for the loving hearts, the

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