Now may Israel say: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick.@Psalm 124:1–3

William Whittingham, in Thomas Sternhold’s 16th Century Old Version.

Old 124th Genevan Psalter, 1551 (🔊 pdf nwc).

The following is Galderwood’s account of the return of Durie to Edinburgh [Scotland] after a temporary banishment…:—

John Durie cometh to Leith at night the 3d of September. Upon Tuesday the 4th of September, as he is coming to Edinburgh, there met him at the Gallowgreen 200, but ere he came to the Netherbow their number increased to 400; but they were no sooner entered but they encreased to 600 or 700, and within short space the whole street was replenished even to Saint Geiles Kirk: the number was esteemed to 2000. At the Netherbow they took up the 124 Psalme, Now Israel may say, &c., and sung in such a pleasant tune in four parts, known to the most part of the people, that coming up the street all bareheaded till they entered in the Kirk, with such a great sound and majestic, that it moved both themselves and all the huge multitude of the beholders, looking out at the shots and over stairs, with admiration and astonishment: the Duke himself beheld, and reave his beard for anger: he was more afirayed of this sight than anie thing that ever he had seene before in Scotland. When they came to the kirk, Mr James Lowsone made a short exhortation in the Reader’s place, to move the multitude to thankfulnes. Thereafter a psalm being sung, they departed with great joy.

Melvill describes the occurrence thus—

Going upe the streit with bear heads and loud voices, sang to the praise of God and testifeing of grait joy and consolation, * * * till heavin and erthe resoundit. This noyes when the Duc, being in the town, hard, and ludgit in the Hie-gat, luiked out and saw, he rave his berde for anger, and hasted him af the town.

Neil Livingston, The Scottish Metric Psalter of 1635 (Glasgow, Scotland, 1864), p. 17

Now Israel may say, and that in truth,
If that the Lord had not our right maintained,
If that the Lord had not with us remained,
When cruel men against us rose to strive,
We surely had been swallowed up alive.

Yea, when their wrath against us fiercely rose,
The swelling tide had o’er us spread its wave,
The raging stream had then become our grave,
The surging flood, in proudly swelling roll,
Most surely then had overwhelmed our soul.

Blest be the Lord, who made us not their prey;
As from the snare a bird escapeth free,
Their net is rent and so escaped are we;
Our only help is in Jehovah’s name,
Who made the earth and all the heavenly frame.