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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/257

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Unveiling a Statue of Dr. Hunter McGuire. 249

chairman, who requested Rev. James Power Smith, D. D., to open the exercises with prayer.

PRAYER.

Almighty and ever Gracious God, Thou art from everlasting to everlasting! Thy days are without end and Thy mercies cannot be numbered! Men come and pass away, and the procession of our humanity moves rapidly beyond the veil; but Thou remainest and thy grace fails not. O Lord, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee!

We thank Thee for the many blessings that attend our days and enfold us for our protection, our elevation and our happiness; for the institution of free government; for civil and religious liberty; for just laws and their administration; and for the blessings of education and literature, of charity and religion.

We thank Thee for the gift of strong men, wise and brave and faithful, the pillars of the social fabric. The Commonwealth is safe and strong when men are true to duty, brave in the time of peril and upright and steadfast in time of peace. We bless Thee for the great company of good men, whose names are not written on monuments, but who have done well in their generation; have of- fered their lives for the honor and safety of the State, or have lived for the welfare of their fellow-menĀ !

We thank Thee for the blessed Healing Art, and for that profes- sion which has given so many who have blessed their generation by their genius and skill, and their sympathy with the troubled and suffering. Unto one of them we have builded a monument, and into the bronze and stone have gone the grateful affection of many hearts. We have placed it here, that his name may be long remem- bered, and that his memory may abide for the good of the city and of his native Commonwealth, which he loved so ardently, and to which he gave so much of the devotion and power of his life.

Let Thy protecting power be about this monument, that through long years to come, its silent lesson may speak to generations that shall come after us, and its presence here beside the old Capitol of Virginia, and among the memorials of men great in war and great in peace, may animate many in coming years with the same desire to defend the State and to serve well their generation.

Let Thy favor ever abide upon the institutions to which he gave so much of his life and strength; upon his comrades, the men who wore the gray; upon the home he loved so dearly, and upon the