In the November, 1799, issue of The Gospel Magazine, edited by Augustus Toplady, there appeared an anonymous hymn entitled “On the Resurrection, the Lord is King”:
All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
The author, it was later revealed, was Rev. Edward Perronet.
Edward’s Protestant grandparents had fled Catholic France, going first to Switzerland, then to England. Edward’s father had become a vicar in the Anglican Church, and Edward followed in his footsteps.
For several years, he became closely allied with the Wesleys, traveling with them and sometimes caught up in their adventures. In John Wesley’s journal, we find this entry: “Edward Perronet was thrown down and rolled in the mud and mire. Stones were hurled and windows broken.”
In time, however, Edward broke with the Wesleys over various Methodist policies, and John Wesley excluded his hymns from Methodist hymnals. Edward went off to pastor a small independent church in Canterbury, where he died on January 22, 1792. His last words were: 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.
Edward Perronet’s hymn, “All Hail the Power,” has earned him an indelible place in the history of church music. It also has a place in missionary history, being greatly used in evangelistic endeavors. Rev. E. P. Scott, for example, missionary to India, wrote of trying to reach a savage tribe in the Indian subcontinent. Ignoring the pleadings of his friends, he set off into the dangerous territory. Several days later, he met a large party of warriors who surrounded him, their spears pointed at his heart.
Expecting to die at any moment, Scott took out his violin, breathed a prayer, closed his eyes, and began singing, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!” When he reached the words, “Let every kindred, every tribe,” he opened his eyes. There stood the warriors, some in tears, every spear lowered. Scott spent the next two years evangelizing the tribe.
The truth is, dear one, we live every moment of our lives under the watchful eye of an absolute, all-powerful, all-sovereign God. Jesus is on His throne and everything is well with those who have submitted themselves to His keeping. He is mighty and magnificent; merciful and marvelous! He stands without equal; He rules without rival. He is Lord of the day, and also the night.
Let Jesus be the focus of your worship today, and the recipient of your passion. Let your lips praise Him, your life proclaim Him. Let Him be your everything and you will not want for anything.
Hail the power of Jesus’ name and fall at His feet today. Battles will be won, prison bars will be broken, when we accept His authority!