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  • Writer's pictureD. D. Gebbie

The 1650 Scottish Psalter

Updated: Mar 23, 2023


“These lines are likely to go up to God from many millions of tongues for many generations: it were a pity but all possible diligence were used to have them framed so well as might be."[1]


Always ready to remedy the defects in my knowledge or memory, my son recently pointed out to me that 2025 would mark the 375th anniversary of the 1650 Scottish Psalter. Made aware of this fact, I had two relevant and somewhat related thoughts. First, should that event warrant some observance, two years might give sufficient notice. Second, perhaps something might be needed to prime the pump. The following is, I hope, something.



1. A New Metrical Psalter.


Along with the confession of faith, catechisms, and directories for worship and government produced by the Westminster Assembly as part of the covenanted uniformity envisaged by the Solemn League and Covenant, there was also to be a common psalter for the Churches of the Three Kingdoms. As that covenanted uniformity slipped from its planners’ grasp, so did the compilation of a joint book of praise. However, what began at Westminster as a work of unity was completed at Edinburgh for Scotland alone. Hence, it is the Scottish Psalter; and it is called the 1650 Psalter because although the Act approving its use was passed on the 23rd of November 1649, the date appointed for the setting aside of the old Psalter was the first of May 1650.[2]


The Psalter is called a paraphrase or a metaphrase of the Psalms of David. A metaphrase is a word-for-word translation; while a paraphrase is something said in other words. Finding the correct balance between metaphrase and paraphrase is what those who worked on the Psalter strove to do.


For present purposes, it might be said that a metrical version of a Psalm is arrived at by taking a prose metaphrase of that Psalm from the Hebrew and then paraphrasing it so that it scans and rhymes to fit the chosen metre. A review process would examine the metrical Psalm and revise it so that it was as close to the meaning of the Hebrew as possible. It would then be revised again to make that version understandable and singable. This process might be repeated until the reviewers were satisfied that they had reached the optimum accuracy of translation and accessibility of lyrics while conforming to the correct number of syllables per line and the rhyming pattern of the metre.


The origins of the metrical Psalms which make up the 1650 Psalter are twofold. First, there are the versions of the Psalms composed by Francis Rous and presented to the Westminster Assembly for consideration. Second, there is the Scottish Psalter of 1564 which the 1650 replaced. That said, the Psalms passed through so many revising hands that often the origins are quite obscured.


2. From Westminster to Edinburgh.


On the 22nd of November 1643, the House of Commons asked the Westminster Assembly if Francis Rous’s metrical versions of the Psalms were suitable for use in public worship.[3] The Assembly responded by beginning a detailed revision of Rous’s work.[4] The House of Lords asked if it were possible to have a variety of Psalters which might be used and suggested consideration of William Barton’s which the London ministers also favoured.[5] The Assembly rejected Barton’s work and continued to revise Rous’s until the 14th of November 1645, when the revised version of Rous’s Psalms was presented to the Commons.[6] On the 25th of November, Robert Baillie wrote, “The Psalms are perfyted: the best without doubt that ever yet were extant.”[7]


The House of Commons then authorised the use of the Westminster Version on the 15th of April 1646, ordering that after the 1st of January, “no other version should be sung in all the Churches and Chapels within the Kingdom of England, the dominion of Wales, and the Toune of Berwick-upon-Tweed”.[8]


There was considerable Scottish involvement in the process of revising Rous’s versions. On the positive side, the Scottish Commissioners were active in the work of the committees which carried out the revision and in sending home the Psalms as they were being revised to be critiqued.[9] Baillie was in correspondence with Lord Lauderdale, Sir William Mure of Rowallan whose metrical Psalm version Baillie preferred, John Row the Hebrew scholar, Robert Dalgleish, and Robert Douglas concerning them.[10] On a less positive note, Zachary Boyd lobbied for the acceptance of his metrical versions of the Psalms and faired no better than the Lords with their recommendation of Barton’s.[11] When the work was completed, the Scottish Commissioners sent home the finished Psalter, the Westminster Version, strongly encouraging its acceptance. Reporting to the Commission of Assembly, they wrote on the 23rd of February 1647:

Wee now send yow the new edition of the paraphrase of the Psalmes, as it wes approved by the Assembly heir, and by yourselves, the animadversions which yow sent us being taken in their propper places, as the worthy gentlman who hath taken most paines in the worke assureth ws. If yow be now satisfied with it as it is, wee shall desire to know so much. One Psalme-book in the three kingdomes will be a considerable part of Vniformity, if it can be fullie agreed upon both there and here ; and we believe it is generally acknowledged there is a necessity of some change, there being so many just exceptions against the old and vsuall paraphrase; and we humblie conceive there will be as litle controversy that this, which we now send yow, as it hath come through the hands of more examiners, so it will be found as neir the originall as any paraphrase in meeter can readily be, and much neerer then other works of that kynd, which is a good compensation to mak up the want of that poeticall liberty and sweet pleasant running which some desire.[12]

The Commission was cautious in its reply:

Yours of the 16th of this instant moneth we have received this day, together with the new edition of the paraphrase of the Psalmes, wherof we cannot give opinion by this occasion, especially seing so few copies have been sent. We do acknouledge that one Psalme-book in the three kingdomes wer a considerable part of Vniformity, but it can hardly be fullie agreed upon if Presbyteries have not a previous consideration of it before the meeting of the Assembly, which may give them great satisfaction, and facilitat the approbation of it in the Assembly. Therfor yow will be pleased to send doun a number of copies of this late edition to our Clerk, whom we have appoynted to cause dispatch them to Presbyteries with diligence, to be considered by them, which we think the best and surest way to obtaine a full approbation of the work heir, wherof we make litle question, if yow send a competent number of copies in tyme.[13]

The men in London had already pre-ordered seventy copies of the Westminster Version and were, by the 9th of March, able to send eighty copies which arrived in Edinburgh sometime after the 12th of April and were distributed to Presbyteries. Alongside seeking the approbation of Presbyteries, the Commission also recommended that John Adamson, noted for his abilities as a poet, should revise the Psalms and that John Row, the Hebraist, should submit his observations on Adamson’s revision to the next General Assembly which was just over a month and a half away.[14]


At that General Assembly, the same committee which dealt with the Confession of Faith also dealt with the Westminster Psalter;[15] and on the 28th of August 1647, its report prompted the following Act:

The Generall Assembly, having considered the report of the Committee, concerning the Paraphrase of the Psalmes sent from England: And finding that it is very necessary, that the said Paraphrase be yet revised; Therefore doth appoint Master John Adamson to examine the first fourty Psalmes, Master Thomas Craufurd the second fourty, Master John Row the third fourty, and Master John Nevey the last thirty Psalms of that Paraphrase; and in their Examination they shall not only observe what they think needs to be amended, but also to set downe their own essay for correcting thereof: And for this purpose recommends to them, to make use of the travels of Rowallen, Master Zachary Boyd, or of any other on that subject, but especially of our own Paraphrase, that what they finde better in any of these Works may be chosen: and likewise they shall make use of the animadversions sent from Presbyteries, who for this cause are hereby desired to hasten their observations unto them; And they are to make report of their labours herein to the Commission of the Assembly for publike affaires against their first meeting in February next: And the Commission after revising thereof, shall send the same to Provinciall Assemblies, to bee transmitted to Presbyteries, that by their further consideration, the matter may be fully prepared to the next Assembly: And because some Psalmes in that Paraphrase sent from England are composed in verses which do not agree with the Common-tunes, Therefore it is also recommended that these Psalms be likewise turned in other verses which may agree to the Common-tunes, that is, having the first line of eight syllabs, and the second line of six, that so both versions being together, use may bee made of either of them in Congregations as shall be found convenient: And the Assembly doth further recommend, That M. Zachary Boyd be at the paines to translate the other Scripturall Songs in meeter, and to report his travels also to the Commission of Assembly, that after their Examination thereof, they may send the same to Presbyteries to be there considered untill the next Generall Assembly.[16]

On Friday the 14th of April, the Commission of Assembly began its process of examination. First, it appointed “the ministers of this town [Edinburgh], or any three of them, to be a Committee to examine the corrections of the brethren conferred to revise Rouse Psalmes, and to confer with those brethren thervpon, and to report their opinions to this Comission the first dyet vpon Mononday at 10 houres in this place”. Then, on the 20th, it appointed “Messrs. John Adamson, Doctor Colvill, James Hamiltoun, John Smith, John Neve, and Patrik Gillaspie, James Gutterie, to revise Rouses Psalmes, and the amendements sent in from these that wer appoynted by the Assembly to revise them, and to report their opinions, their meeting to be the morne at 7 houres in the College”. And finally, on the 1st of May, it appointed “Mr. Robert Douglas, George Gillaspie, William Colvill, James Hamiltoun, John Smith, with Mr. John Adamson, to revise Rouse paraphrase of the Psalmes in meeter, with the animadversiones thereupon, and to report their opinions”.[17]


On July 15th 1648, the General Assembly erected a committee “for hearing the report concerning the Paraphrase of the Psalmes in Meeter” which had returned its findings by the 9th of August when the Assembly appointed:

.... Rouse Paraphrase of the Psalms, with the corrections thereof now given in by the Persons appointed by the last Assembly for that purpose, to be sent to Presbyteries, That they may carefully revise and examine the same, and thereafter send them with their corrections to the Commission of this Assembly to be appointed for publick affairs, Who are to have a care to cause re-examine the Animadversions of Presbyteries, and prepare a report to the next Generall Assembly; Intimating hereby, That if Presbyteries be negligent hereof, the next Generall Assembly is to go on and take the same Paraphrase to their consideration without more delay: And the Assembly Recommends to Master John Adamson and Mr Thomas Crafurd to revise the Labours of Mr Zachary Boyd upon the other Scripturall Songs, and to prepare a report thereof to the said Commission for publick affairs. That after their examination, the same may be also reported to the next Generall Assembly.[18]

The Commission set about its work. On the 5th of January 1649:

The Commission of the Generall Assembly, having this day received a printed copie of Rows Paraphrase of the Psalmes corrected according to these animadversions given in to the late Assembly, Therefore doth appoint a competent number of these corrected copies now printed to be sent to Presbyteries, that according to the Act of Assembly they may revise and examine the same, and thereafter returne their animadversions and corrections thereof to this Commission, otherwise the said next Assembly is to goe on and take this Paraphrase to their consideration without more delay.[19]

And:

The Commision appoints the reports of the corrections of Rouse Paraphrase of the Psalmes to be delyvered in to the clerk, that he may lend them out to Mr. John Adamsone, to be considered against the nixt Assembly.[21]

The next Assembly moved to bring the revision of the Westminster Version to a conclusion:

THE Generall Assembly Having taken some view of the new Paraphrase of the Psalms in meetter with the corrections and animadversions thereupon sent from severall persons and presbyteries, And finding that they cannot overtake the review and examination of the whole in this Assembly; Therefore now after so much time and so great paines about the correcting, and examining thereof from time to time some yeares bygone, that the worke may come now to some conclusion, They do Ordain the Brethren appointed for perusing the same during the meeting of this Assembly, viz. Masters James Hammiltoun, John Smith, Hew Mackail, Robert Traill, George Hutcheson and Robert Lowrie, after the dissolving of this Assembly to goe on in that worke carefully. And to report their travels to the Commission of the Generall Assembly for publick affaires at their meeting at Edinburgh in November; And the said Commission after perusall and re-examination thereof, is hereby authorized with full power to conclude and establish the Paraphrase, and to publish and emit the same for publick use.[22]

This latest committee was unable to complete its task during the Assembly’s sitting and was prompted by the Commission “to hasten their corrections, and so soone as they have done, that the Moderator conveen the Commission, or a quorum of these that are nearest, to consider their travells, and prepare the matter against the quarterly meeting”.[23]


At the November meeting, the Commission spend part of the 20th, 21st, and 22nd surveying and examining the Psalms.[24] Then after giving them a final read-over on the morning of the 23rd, that afternoon passed an Act approving the new Psalter:

The Commission of the Generall Assembly, having with great diligence considered the Paraphrase of the Psalmes in meter, sent from the Assembly of Divines in England by our Comissioners whilst they were there, as it is corrected by former Generall Assemblies, Comittees from them, and now at last by the brethren deputed by the late Assembly for that purpose; And haveing exactly examined the same, Doe approve the said Paraphrase as it is now compiled; And therefore, according to the power given them by the said Assembly, Doe appoint it to be printed and published for publik vse; Hereby authorizing the same to be the only Paraphrase of the Psalmes of David to be sung in the Kirk of Scotland, and discharging the old Paraphrase, and any other then this new Paraphrase, to be made vse of in any congregatioun or family after the first day of Maij in the year 1650; And for vniformity in this parte of the worship of God, Doe seriously recomend to Presbyteries to cause make publik intimatioun of this Act, and take speciall care that the same be tymeously put to execution and duely observed.[25]

After a process which had taken from November 1643 to November 1649, all that was left to do was to arrange the practicalities of the printing and to give special thanks to John Adamson, Zachary Boyd, and Robert Lowrie.[26]


3. The Text of the Psalter.


If there is a name to be associated with the 1650 Scottish Psalter, it is that of John Adamson. He was involved from a distance in the revision of Rous’s text at Westminster.[27] He worked in committee and alone revising the Westminster Version from its arrival in Scotland to the June of 1649. He was one of those to whom the General Assembly gave its instructions in the August of 1647.


The revisers were to take the Westminster Version of the Psalms in metre and examine them. Having done that, they were to amend them using other versions of the metrical Psalms, especially the 1564 Scottish Psalter and the works of Mure of Rowallan and Zachary Boyd, while taking note of the animadversions sent to them from Presbyteries. Whatever other choices they made, there was to be a common metre version of every Psalm. The result was 150 Psalms in common metre and 13 alternative versions in other metres: Psalms 6, 25, 45, 50, 67, 70, 100, 102, 124, 136, 143, 145, and 148.


Millar Patrick uses the work of Dr Rorison to show the sources used by the Scottish revisers and the extent to which they influenced the final product. Of the 8,620 lines of the 1650 Scottish Psalter, according to Rorison, 3,774 are the work of the committees of the General Assembly and its Commission, 1,588 are from the Westminster Version, 878 are from Francis Rous, 754 from Zachary Boyd, 516 from the versions of the Psalms attributed to James VI & I, 338 from the 1564 Scottish Psalter, 269 from the Bay Psalter, 266 from Henry Dod, 136 from William Barton, 52 from George Wither, and 49 from Mure of Rowallan. There is also evidence that the revisers had access to the works of George Sandys and Richard Braithwaite. Again, according to Rorison, the 1650 Psalter was the greatest because it took the best from the rest.[28]


Rorison’s approach has been questioned.[29] First, he did not give due weight to the Westminster Version, the one to be revised; second, he gave his attention to lines rather than to units of meaning (phrases or sentences); third, when there were similar lines, he attributed them to their earliest appearance in a metrical Psalter rather than to a version proximate to the revisers; fourth, the constraints of vocabulary, metre, and rhyme make it likely that very similar lines might occur coincidentally; and fifth, there is a great deal of the subjective in his choices.


Rather than looking for sources of individual lines, it might be better to take the Psalter as a whole. As per their instructions, the revisers had one source and several influences. The source is the Westminster Version. The main influences are Mure of Rowallan, Zachary Boyd, and the 1564 Scottish Psalter. The lesser influences are other metrical Psalters and suggestions from Presbyteries.


The Westminster Version is the 1643 edition of Rous’s Psalter revised by the Westminster Divines with Scottish input.[30] The Divines moved the Psalter in the direction of accuracy: “sticking too hard to the original [Hebrew] text”. The Scottish input at the Assembly, according to Baillie, was to make the Psalter more accessible: to smooth out the “obscurities”. The completed version was further revised by the Scots to make it accessible to the Scottish people. It had been composed in the English of the London governing class. It had the vocabulary and accent of Members of Parliament and lawyers. The Scottish revisers altered the text so that it scanned and rhymed in a Scottish accent. They also altered the text so that it registered with the Scottish people. While, at the same time, they sought to retain the closeness to the original Hebrew.


Using Rorison’s method, William Mure of Rowallan had minimal influence on the 1650 Psalter. Yet, his works are mentioned first in the 1647 Act of Assembly. Rowallan’s versions of the Psalms were only available in manuscript form. It seems that he wrote them for his own benefit and that of his friends and was reluctant to put them forward for public use. What marked them out was the quality of the poetry in Scots and the spirituality which they exhibited. His influence was not in the copying of his words, but in the aspiration to copy the quality and the sense of his words.


Zachary Boyd, on the other hand, had written a Psalter for public use. It was Scottish and available. It had such popular support that many of the returns from Presbyteries favoured making use of it in the revisions. However, it is said that Boyd’s enthusiasm was not matched by his abilities.[31] His influence was not that his work was a viable substitute for the Westminster Version, but that it indicated the direction in which many thought the Westminster Psalms should go. If Mure’s travails brought quality and sense to the table, Boyd’s brought voice. His was what a new Scottish Psalter should sound like.


The 1564 Psalter had its problems;[32] but it was familiar. Some of the Psalm versions had taken on a significance because they were the words for a moment in history. The 1564’s Psalms 100, 124, 136, 143, and 145 were revised and included as alternatives to the common metre versions.


The inclusion of Barton’s long metre version of Psalm 102 (revised) shows that other Psalters were more than consulted in the revision process.[33] Whether they were used to create a series of montages as Rorison seems to envisage is open to question.


The fact that Presbyteries were involved throughout the revision process avoided the end to which the Westminster Version came in England where it all but died on the vine. The whole Church was involved in the project. The Psalms’ scan and rhyme did not overly reflect one regional accent.


The Scottishness of the 1650 Psalter, then, does not come from a line count where a slim majority of the total lines of the Psalter have a Scottish origin. It comes from the openness of the revision process to Scots from all over the country and from the use of materials which gave the Psalter a Scottish resonance. The process took the whole Westminster Version and Scotticised it.


4. The Tunes of the Psalter.


Having spent so much time and effort on the text, it is, perhaps, strange that there is no mention of accompanying tunes. In fact, the 1650 Scottish Psalter was originally a words-only edition.


The most likely reason for this is cost. A music edition would have been expensive and its market restricted. A words-only edition would be relatively cheap and could reach a wider number of people. The reason why an edition without music could be published was that common metre tunes were well known and there was a common metre version of each Psalm. Many of the Psalms in other metres were set to tunes which were also well known.


There may also be a subtext here. The 1564 Psalter had Psalm versions which were in metres developed for other languages and set to tunes which were difficult to sing.[34] The 1635 Edition of the 1564 Psalter somewhat compounded the problem by introducing elaborate harmonies to these tunes.[35] The result was that some of the Psalter was beyond the musical capabilities of congregations or families. Having all the Psalms in common metre without set tunes brought the whole Psalter within the musical competence of most precentors and congregations.


5. “From many millions of tongues for many generations”.


The 1650 Scottish Psalter, through its balance of accuracy and accessibility, has stood the test of time. Its lines, learned almost by osmosis, resonate externally in the acoustics of church and home and internally with the beat of the believing heart.



[1] Baillie, Robert. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie ... M.DC.XXXVII.-M.DC.LXII. In Three Volumes. ed. David Laing [Edinburgh: R. Ogle, 1841-42], 2:332.

[2] Because acceptance of the Psalter was ratified by the Scottish Parliament on the 8th of January 1650, it was not lost at the Restoration under the Acts of Oblivion but remained in use. Baillie, Robert. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie ... M.DC.XXXVII.-M.DC.LXII. In Three Volumes. ed. David Laing [Edinburgh: R. Ogle, 1841-42], 3:548.

[3] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 91. John Lightfoot. The Whole Works of John Lightfoot. ed. John Rogers Pitman [London: 1824], 13:60.

[4] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 91-6.

[5] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 95.

[6] C. G. McCrie. The Public Worship of the Presbyterian Church [Edinburgh: William Blackwood and sons, 1892], 216.

[7] Baillie, Robert. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie ... M.DC.XXXVII.-M.DC.LXII. In Three Volumes. ed. David Laing [Edinburgh: R. Ogle, 1841-42], 2:326.

[8] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 96.

[9] C. G. McCrie. The Public Worship of the Presbyterian Church [Edinburgh: William Blackwood and sons, 1892], 217. Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 92.

[10] Baillie, Robert. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie ... M.DC.XXXVII.-M.DC.LXII. In Three Volumes. ed. David Laing [Edinburgh: R. Ogle, 1841-42], 2:280, 293, 329-332.

[11] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 95.

[12] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1646 and 1647 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1892], 209.

[13] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1646 and 1647 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1892], 210.

[14] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1646 and 1647 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1892], 222, 223, 237, 274, 282.

[15] A. Peterkin. Records of the Kirk of Scotland: containing the acts and proceedings of the General Assemblies, from the year 1638 downwards, as authenticated by the clerks of assembly: with notes and historical illustrations [Edinburgh: P. Brown, 1843], 480.

[16] A. Peterkin. Records of the Kirk of Scotland: containing the acts and proceedings of the General Assemblies, from the year 1638 downwards, as authenticated by the clerks of assembly: with notes and historical illustrations [Edinburgh: P. Brown, 1843], 475.

[17] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1646 and 1647 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1892], 448, 460, 514.

[18] A. Peterkin. Records of the Kirk of Scotland: containing the acts and proceedings of the General Assemblies, from the year 1638 downwards, as authenticated by the clerks of assembly: with notes and historical illustrations [Edinburgh: P. Brown, 1843], 513.

[19] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 141.

[20] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896],183-4.

[21] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 295.

[22] A. Peterkin. Records of the Kirk of Scotland: containing the acts and proceedings of the General Assemblies, from the year 1638 downwards, as authenticated by the clerks of assembly: with notes and historical illustrations [Edinburgh: P. Brown, 1843], 553.

[23] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 302.

[24] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 317-320.

[25] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 321, 328. Given its importance, here is the Act of Commission in standard English: The Commission of the General Assembly having with great diligence considered the Paraphrase of the Psalms in Meter, sent from the Assembly of Divines in England by our Commissioners, whilst they were there, as it is corrected by former General Assemblies, Committees from them, and now at last by the Brethren deputed by the late Assembly for that purpose: And having exactly examined the same, do approve the said Paraphrase, as it is now compiled: And therefore, according to the power given them by the said Assembly, do appoint it to be printed and published for public use: Hereby authorizing the same to be the only Paraphrase, of the Psalms of David to be sung in the Kirk of Scotland; and discharging the old Paraphrase and any other than this new Paraphrase, to be made use of in any congregation or family after the first day of May in the year 1650; and for uniformity in this part of the Worship of God, do seriously recommend to Presbyteries to cause make public intimation of this Act, and take special care that the same be timeously put to execution, and duly observed.

[26] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1648 and 1649 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1896], 328, 339.

[27] Baillie, Robert. The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie ... M.DC.XXXVII.-M.DC.LXII. In Three Volumes. ed. David Laing [Edinburgh: R. Ogle, 1841-42], 2:330.

[28] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 101-4.

[29] Peter Auger, "How Scottish is the Scottish Psalter? William Mure of Rowallan, Zachary Boyd, and the Metrical Psalter of 1650," Studies in Scottish Literature 40 (2014): 55-75

[30] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 95.

[31] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 211.

[32] A. F. Mitchell and J. Christie. Records of the Commissions of the General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland holden in Edinburgh in the years 1646 and 1647 [Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1892], 209.

[33] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 100.

[34] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 49-51, 79.

[35] Millar Patrick. Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody [London: OUP, 1949], 63-7.


The image of the Psalter is from the Trinitarian Bible Society and is used with thanks.

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