Apr 2, 2024

Edward Perronet

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They were both passionate and strong-willed. John Wesley had heard about the gifted young preacher Edward Perronet (1726-1797), and was eager to hear him. Since Wesley was 18 years his senior and the elder statesman in the Methodist movement, Perronet felt unqualified to preach when someone of Wesley’s stature was present in the crowd. When Wesley spotted Perronet in a Methodist gathering, he announced (without Perronet’s permission) that Perronet would speak the following morning at 5:00 AM. Perronet revered Wesley too much to deny him, so the next morning, he stepped forward to preach, admitting he was not there by free choice. He then announced he would deliver the finest sermon ever preached, opened the Bible to Matthew 5, and read Jesus’ entire Sermon on the Mount. He added no comments of his own and closed the meeting with a hymn and a prayer. Like I said, they were strong-willed. Wesley insisted that only Church of England clergy could administer the Lord’s Supper, while Perronet lobbied that itinerant evangelists would be afforded the same courtesy. When Perronet wrote a satirical poem challenging the Church of England, they severed ties with each other. Perronet wrote hymns in his later years, most of which are lost to us. One 1779 hymn that survived, “On Resurrection,” was originally an eight-stanza hymn of four lines each. John Rippon edited the hymn a few years later, retitling it after the opening line, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” The hymn follows a sequential pattern of groups that offer God praise: angels, seraphs, morning stars, martyrs, the seed of Israel’s chosen race, members of David’s line, sinners, and ultimately, every tribe and nation. The final stanza joins everyone together in crowning Jesus Lord of all. Four stanzas of the hymn follow here, accompanied by a prayer composed from the hymn. What a great way to praise God on this Easter Monday:
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all.

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.

Let ev’ry tongue and every tribe
Responsive to his call,
To him all majesty ascribe,
And crown him Lord of all.

O, that with all the sacred throng
We at his feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown him Lord of all.

Prayer: Hail to the power of Jesus’ name, the name that is above every name. We long for the day when every knee will bow to your Lordship. We lay our trophies and accolades at your feet, joining with people from every language and nation in yielding to you as Savior and Lord. We endeavor to live under your gracious Lordship and to follow wherever you rightly lead us. Hail to you, Lord Jesus. On this day when we celebrate your victory over sin and death, we crown you Lord of all. Amen.

Hymnology Archive, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Rev. Dr. Peter James served 42 years as the senior of Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA — 21 years in the 20th century and 21 years in the 21st century. He retired in 2021 and now serves as Pastor-in-Residence at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Even as a pastor, prayer came slowly to Pete. Read Pete’s story.