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[286]

From Dr. Kerr's people.

At a meeting of the session of the First Presbyterian Church, the following action was taken:

The session of the First Presbyterian Church convened to take action on the removal from his earthly labors of the Rev. Moses D. Hoge, D. D., Ll. D., on January 6, 1899, would place on record an expression of our sense of bereavement, as a session, and in behalf of the church we represent, in the loss of one so useful, honored and beloved, and who for so many years has been a leader in the work of the denomination, and an exponent of true religion in the Church, the city and the State.

The First Presbyterian Church recalls with pride that during the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. William S. Plumer, in 1844, Dr. Hoge preached in our pulpit his first sermon in Richmond, where he had been called by the session to lead a movement for the establishment of another congregation. In the selection of a man for this work, the session of that day were divinely guided, as subsequent history has abundantly shown.

In February, 1845, seventy-four members were dismissed to organize the Second Presbyterian Church, under the pastorate of the Rev. Moses D. Hoge, who came fresh from the hall of Union Theological Seminary to this, his first, and, as it proved, his only charge. The splendid history of his nearly fifty-four years of service in our midst cannot be written here. Suffice to say that the mother church has ever regarded with affection and gratitude the steady growth and increasing influence of the Second Church, under the wise and able leadership of their noble pastor, up to the present moment, when it stands as one of the strongest congregations of the denomination. Few churches and few pastors have made such a record, and now that he, by whose labors and prayers it was mainly accomplished, has finished his course, we stand with uncovered heads, remembering the years that have come and gone during which Dr. Hoge was a witness for truth and righteousness, and say: ‘Servant of God, well done; thy toils are over; thy race accomplished; the victory won.’ And we doubt not he has already heard from the lips of that Master whom he loved: ‘Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord.’

We tender to the Second Presbyterian Church our deepest sympathy in their bereavement, commending them to the care of the Great Shepherd, whose ‘rod and staff will comfort them still.’ [287]

Especially do we offer to the family, bereft of a devoted father, our hands and hearts, accompanied by our prayers, that in this time of sore distress they may feel ‘underneath them the everlasting arms,’ and that they may hear the voice of Jesus saying: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled; ye believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.’

As for ourselves, in view of the event which calls us together today, each one of us would say: ‘Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.’

Copies of this action of the session are ordered to be sent to the family of our deceased brother, and to the session of the Second Presbyterian Church.

Robert P. Kerr, Moderator. Robert T. Brooke, Stated Clerk.
Richmond, Va., January 7, 1899.

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