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“All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”

“All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” ©

“The Story Behind the Hymn”



A Hymn of Coronation


Scripture Portion

Rev. 4: 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to received glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”


Rev. 6: 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.


Rev. 14: 14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle (KJV).


I Peter 3: 22 Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers have been made subject to Him.


“The Story Behind the Hymn”


Gospel Magazine, edited by Augustus Toplady, published a hymn of interest in the November 1799 issue. But curiously did not print the author’s name. It was entitled “On the Resurrection, the Lord is King.” [1]

The lyrics read as follows:

All hail the power of Jesus’Name! Let angels prostrate fall;

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all. [2]


The author of this anonymous poem was later revealed to be the Rev. Edward Perronet.

Perronet was descended from good strong Reformation stock. His grandparents were French. But they had to flee the Roman Catholic Church of France and became refugees in Switzerland. Later they migrated to England. Here, Edward’s father was ordained to the Anglican priesthood and became a Vicar in the Church. Later young Perronet took clerical rites in the State Church as well. [3]


But after some time Perronet broke with the Anglican Church. He became personally disenchanted, he became persuaded that much of what the National Church believed and practiced was “nonsense.” [4] He joined with the Wesley brothers and their Holiness Movement. “For several years, Perronet became closely allied with the Wesleys, traveling with them and sometimes caught up in their adventures.” [5] Joining with the Brothers Wesley was sure to bring some level of persecution. And it surely did. John Wesley recorded in his journal that one time “Edward Perronet was thrown down and rolled in the mud and mire.’” [6] There were even “Stones hurled, and windows broken”[7] during the melee!


Evidently, “Perronet was not an easy person to get along with.” [8] After a time, Edward even splits with the Wesleys. His division concerned various ecclesiastical beliefs, policies, and procedures of the brothers. [9] Particularly, the problem centered around who could administer the Sacraments. [10] It is an interesting historical note and one can only imagine his motive; but “John Wesley excluded his hymns from [the] Methodist hymnals.” [11] After separation, Perronet became minister to a small independent Church in Canterbury “called the Connexion.” [12] There is where he would later die on January 22, 1792. It is also interesting to consider, Perronet later broke with the Canterbury congregation as well. [13] It was, however, during his tenure at Canterbury that Perronet wrote “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.” [14]


Perronet’s hymn has left a deep mark on the Church’s musical history. Not only has it impacted musicology but its missiology as well. It has been used widely and greatly by evangelists and evangelistic crusades.


One account concerning its power for missions, evangelism, and outreach is worth rehearsing. Rev. E. P. Scott was a missionary to India. Scott testified that on one occasion he was trying to reach out to a tribe in the savage Indian subcontinent. His friends plead with him not to strike out alone and make for that region. But, to no avail he would not be dissuaded. After several days of travel, he found himself surrounded by fierce warriors— “their spears pointed at his heart.”[15] He expected to be run-through immediately! By the Spirit’s prompting and Scott’s resourcefulness; he closed his eyes, whispered a prayer, took out his violin began playing and singing— “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” Something nearly miraculous happened: “When he reached the words, ‘Let every kindred, every tribe,’ he opened his eyes. There stood the warriors, some in tears, every spear lowered.” [16] Scott would go on to spend a great deal of time spreading the Gospel among the tribe.


Perronet’s poem issues a series of commands to exalt Christ Jesus as King. It reflects the imagery of the great kenotic passage of Philippians 2:9-11 where the Scripture declares:


v. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

v. 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

v. 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (KJV).


Perronet’s poetry and hymn exalts Jesus as the Christ just as “the Father has likewise elevated Jesus to a position of ultimate worthiness.” [17]


A final observation to close out this “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” episode. Perronet confessed the essence of his triumphal and beloved hymn with his dying breath. He declared: “‘Glory to God in the height of His divinity! Glory to God in the depth of His humanity! Glory to God in His all-sufficiency! Into His hands I commend my spirit!’” [18]


Lyrics to the hymn:


Verse 1 All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all, Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.


Verse 2 Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call; Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all, Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.


Verse 3 Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall, Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all, Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.


Verse 4 Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget, the wormwood and the gall, Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all, Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.


Verse 5 Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, on this terrestrial ball, To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all, To Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all.


Verse 6 O that with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall, We’ll join the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all, We’ll join the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!


Now you know “The Story Behind the Hymn.”

Finis!

Accept where otherwise noted this is the property of and copyrighted by The Duke Consulting Group and The Inverted Christian located at https://www.invertedchristian.com/ © It may not be copied or used without permission.

Source of sheet music and lyrics:

https://www.google.com/search?q=all+hail+the+power+of+jesus+name+sheet+music&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=ByXmfpT4xwSzpM%252CPlfIHJHSEFh2wM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRG73B2NeFwLT253oHDExQOi_kGKA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwib2djc4fbxAhUEvZ4KHUbhB9IQ9QF6BAgLEAE#imgrc=ByXmfpT4xwSzpM


Other sources consulted:

1. https://hymnary.org/text/all_hail_the_power_of_jesus_name_let


2. https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-all-hail-the-power-of-jesus-nameDr. Hawn is professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology.


[1] Robert J. Morgan, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” in Then Sings My Soul: 150 Christmas, Easter, and All-Time Favorite Hymn Stories (Nashville: W Publishing-Imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2010), 160-161. [2] Ibid, 161. [3] Ibid. [4] Robert K. Brown and Mark R. Norton, eds., “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name,” in The One Year Book of Hymns (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1995), March 2. [5] Morgan, 161. [6] Brown and Norton, March 2. [7] Morgan, 161. [8] Brown and Norton, March 2. [9] Morgan, 161. [10] Brown and Norton, March 2. [11] Morgan, 161. [12] Brown and Norton, March 2. [13] Ibid. [14] Brown and Norton, March 2. [15] Morgan, 161. [16] Ibid. [17] Leland Ryken, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” in Leland Ryken, 40 Favorite Hymns on the Christian Life: A Closer Look at Their Spiritual and Poetic Meaning (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2019), 53. [18] Morgan, 161.

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