19 JULY 1919, Page 14


correspondent, in his tribute to the Scottish metrical version of the 124th Psalm, does it no more than justice. Its stirring words and distinctive melody have made it for centuries the Scottish psalm of victory and deliverance. The classic instance of its use is recorded in James Melville's Diary as occurring in the reign of James VI., when.john Durie, one of the ministers of the early Reformed Church, was restored, after banishment, to his flock in Edinburgh. He was escorted, says Melville, up the Netherbow by a " great con- course of the haill town," singing " Now Israel may say, and that truly," till " heaven and earth resoundit " and the Duke of Lennox " rave his beard for anger."

Perhaps a still more striking use of the 124th Psalm to cele- brate a deliverance occurred in Geneva in 1602, after the failure of the Duke of Savoy to capture the town at night by an esca- lade. Theodore Beza, the friend and successor of Calvin, though by that time too old and deaf to hear the noise of the fighting, was no sooner informed of it in the morning than he dressed hastily, went down to the Cathedral, mounted the pulpit stairs, and called on the people to sing the 124th Psalm. The version was the French one which Beza had himself com- posed, in the same peculiar metre as the Scots version already quoted and sung to the same melody. It is sung, I understand, in the Church of Geneva every December 12th in commemora- tion of the above deliverance.—I am, Sir, Sic.,