Kerr, Moses

Kerr, Moses a minister of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, third son of Dr. Joseph Kerr (q.v.), was born in St.Clair, Pa., June 30, 1811. Naturally of a serious and thoughtful cast of mind, and manifesting in very early life decided piety, his education was directed from the first with a view to qualifying him for the sacred ministry. Signs of failing health, however, induced him to devote himself to mercantile life, but it soon proved as unfavorable to his health as his application to study, and he engaged in farm-work. His health becoming restored, he entered the Western University of Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1828. In the fall of the same year he began the study of theology in the seminary then under the care of his father; was licensed to preach on the 28th of April, 1831, and shortly after was called as pastor to Alleghany. But when the Presbytery met to ordain and install him, he returned the call on account of a hemorrhage of the lungs. The Presbytery, however, proceeded with his ordination to the office of the ministry. This was on the 9th of October, 1832. Shortly after he sailed for Europe, and on his return, with every appearance of restored and established health, resumed preaching, and finally accepted a call by the large and influential congregation of Robinson's Run, in the vicinity of Pittsburg, September 2,1834. But a little more than six months later he was again attacked with hemorrhage of the lungs, and demitted his pastoral charge. During a vacancy he discharged for a time the duties of professor of languages in the Western University of Pennsylvania; afterwards of Biblical literature and criticism in the theological seminary, Alleghany. But his tastes and talents were for the pulpit, and he again accepted a call as a preacher, this time from the Third Church, Pittsburg, 18th of October, 1837. With that congregation he closed his life on the 26th of January, 1840. Moses Kerr "was a student from the love of study, and a careful reader of the best writings not only in theology, but in literature generally. With a becoming appreciation of the demands of his profession, he aimed to store his mind not only with the matter of text-books of theology and the works of past ages, but the fresh discussions of living divines, and at the same time keep up with the general advance of literature and science in the world. As a preacher he had capabilities which, with ordinary health and an ordinary length of life, must have rendered him eminent in his profession."-Sprague, Annals, 9:166.

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