Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, affectionately known as Scotti, one of the word’s leading historians of Christian, reformed worship, and a friend, went to be with our Savior at about 10:30 this morning, Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Three weeks ago, I was able to see Scotti in his home. I asked him, ‘What song was it that Jesus was singing when he was going to the grave when it says in the gospels that after the Las Supper he sang a ‘hymn’?’
He replied, ‘Psalm 118‘. We were able to sing to him Ps. 118, the end of the great Hallel:
‘O set ye open unto me
the gates of righteousness;
Then will I enter into them,
and I the Lord will bless.
This is the gate of God, by it
the just shall enter in.
Thee will I praise, for thou me heard’st
and hast my safety been.’
Knowing that he loves the things of God’s Word, especially from the original languages, I told him, where we sing of ‘salvation’ in the psalter, the Hebrew word is ‘Yeshua’ ‘Jesus’. Jesus was singing his name in the prophesy of his death and resurrection. Ps. 118:14 ‘God my salvation [Jesus] is become, my Strength and Song is He.’ He exclaimed: ‘That’s amazing!’
Scotti in his last weeks, days, and hours was full of faith, trusting in God and our Savior. When I was with him this last Lord’s Day, the last words I heard breathed from his lips, barely articulate, though with all of his strength, was the doxology:
‘Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.’
Here is a tribute to Dr. Old, along with his last public address.
‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’