Posted by: rcottrill | January 2, 2010

Today in 1792 – Edward Perronet Died

Edward Perronet was born in England, the descendant of a distinguished French family that had fled the continent in a time of religious oppression. Like his father before him, Edward became a pastor, and he joined with the Wesleys in their evangelical outreach. This was during the 1740’s and 1750’s when the “Methodists” as they came to be known were suffering much persecution. Their street preachers were often violently attacked. In that regard, this note appears in Wesley’s diary:

From Rockdale we went to Bolton, and soon found that the Rockdale lions were lambs in comparison with those of Bolton. Edward Perronet was thrown down and rolled in mud and mire. Stones were hurled and windows broken.

When Perronet escaped, Wesley said that he was so covered with mud that “one could scarce tell what or who he was.” But these stalwart Christians stood firm. They declared with Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation, for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). It was in the glow of such faith that in 1779 Edward Perronet penned what has been called the “National Anthem of Christendom,” All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.

All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Several tunes have been commonly used with this text. For a discussion of them, and my opinion as to which is best, see Today in 1819.

(2) Today in 1878 – Edward Caswall Died
Englishman Edward Caswall is known in hymnody chiefly for his translation work. He produced English versions of ancient Latin hymns, giving us, notably, When Morning Gilds the Skies and Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

(3) Today in 1921 – The First Christian Radio Broadcast
Though Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden made an experimental radio broadcast of a Scripture reading and a hymn in 1906, today’s date marks the real beginning of Christian broadcasting. On primitive equipment, something like what is seen here, an outreach began that would soon girdle the globe.

Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh is credited with being first, with the broadcast of its church service. Not thinking much of the whole idea, the senior pastor missed his appointment with history when he called upon his assistant, Lewis Whittemore, to preach. Two technicians from a local station assisted, dressed in choir robes for the service, so they would be less conspicuous.

Sacred music was immediately a part of the content being sent out over the air waves, giving listeners an opportunity to hear old favourites and be introduced to new selections. A Pittsburgh newspaper of the day commented about Calvary Episcopal’s broadcast:

It is marvelous, this transmitting of church services by radio. One can almost imagine being in church. The blending music of the sixty men and boys lifted in song, and the ring of the deep-set voice of the preacher, all make the service seem realistic.


  1. […] Wordwise Hymns (Edward Perronet, and see the three tunes) The Cyber […]


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