The Kist o’ Whistles, says Mr Labouchere in “Truth,” was an ancient bone of contention in the Scottish Kirk—mainly, I have always understood, owing to an impression deeply embedded in the Church conservative mind that the Pope was some­ how concealed in the organ. Of late years, how­ ever, people have become more sensible (a regular concert recently given in a Glasgow Kirk), and the love of music has so rapidly spread in Scotland that an organ discussion lit the old style affords rather amusing reading. The present affair happened early in the month at Dufftown, near Elgin, where the Highland chiefs of the Free Kirk Session met to decide upon the important question of ” the use of instrumental music as an aid to vocal praise in the Free Church of Dufftown;” or, in other words, whether for the first lime an organ should be employed in the church service. Hitherto the “vocal praise” had been conducted by the aid of a clerk (or precentor) and a pitch-pipe, possibly with a result which justified Rowland Hill’s theory of the wicked one and the best Tunes.

Party feeling in regard to the Dufftown Kist of Whistles ran so high that the intelligent foreigner might have imagined the speakers were discussing a great war, or a judicial murder, rather than a mere question of music. The clergyman, who, to do him justice, implored the meeting to bow to the wishes of the majority, pathetically declared, “With regard to the question, he would to God that the burden of it were lifted of his shoulders. He could honestly assure them that it was killing him by inches. He could not sleep nor preach.” Then followed another gentleman, who accused the clerk of trying to injure somebody’s character, whereupon the clerk meaningly retorted, “He would remind the previous speaker that he (the clerk) had not changed his name ; his name was ‘ Grant, and his father’s name was Grant,” from which I opine that the gentleman thus sat on, had for some reason or other (I trust it was a handsome legacy), at some time in the past adopted a new surname.

Things soon began to get lively, but another speaker recalled the meeting to a fitting sense of the solemnity of the occasion, declaring frankly, “He believed that it was inconsistent that the Church of Christ should use an organ in her services. There was no authority for it in the New Testament: and if they were to use it, they would be degenerating and going back to old, bad times. The use of it had already done harm, and if it were continued it would do more harm.” The sensible clerk, however, made short work of such conten­tion by caustically inquiring, “Can you tell me where in the New Testament it is said that clergy­ men require to wear trousers?” and then the meeting fell to voting, with the result that Dufftown has got its church organ by the narrow majority of one.