Posted by: rcottrill | April 25, 2011

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Words: Edward Perronet (b. Aug. 2, 1721; d. Jan. 2, 1792)
Music: Shrubsole (or Miles’ Lane), by William Shrubsole (b. Jan ___ , 1760; d. Jan. 18, 1806)
            Coronation, by Oliver Holden (b. Sept. 18, 1765; d. Sept. 4, 1844)
            Diadem, by James Ellor (b. Nov. 26, 1819; d. Sept. 27, 1899)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Edward Perronet, and see the three tunes)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: The exact date of Mr. Perronet’s birth is disputed. The date given here is from Samuel Duffield’s book English Hymns: Their Authors and History, published in 1866. The date of William Shrubsole’s birth is likewise uncertain, but he was baptized as an infant on January 13, 1760.

Three fine tunes are commonly used with this hymn. Miles’ Lane in Britain, (allegedly a contraction of St. Michael’s Lane, a street in London); and Coronation, a tune more commonly used in America. The third, and I think the best tune of all, is Diadem.

There are few who would argue the point that this is one of the greatest hymns of the Christian church. It has been called “the most inspiring and triumphant hymn in the English language.” And its high standing owes much to two factors: a radical revision of the original text, and several excellent tunes. (Many hymn books include at least two of these.)

The hymn was first published in 1780. Seven years later, Pastor John Rippon produced an amended version, to which today’s hymn owes a great deal. Of the original eight stanzas of the hymn, only four are commonly used today–and these have been somewhat altered. With some revision, many hymn books now include CH-1, 5, and 8. (A few use CH-7 too.)

Sometimes, later tinkering does not improve the original work of a hymn writer, but in this case it did. Some of Perronet’s biblical allusions are obscure, and his poetry stilted. For example, Perronet’s final stanza was:

Let every tribe and every tongue
That bound creation’s call,
Now shout in universal song
The crownèd Lord of all.

In the process of revision, John Rippon inserted a concluding stanza of his own that is much superior to Perronet’s:

O that with yonder sacred throng
We at His feet may fall,
We’ll join the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all.

“Let angels prostrate fall” (CH-1). From eternity past, since God created them, the angelic hosts have praised and worshiped God, and they will continue to do so on into the eternal future (Ps. 148:2; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:11-12). And when God called Abraham, and promised to make of Him a great nation, it was His purpose that “the chosen seed of Israel’s race” (CH-5; cf. Deut. 7:6; Isa. 41:8) should also be to the praise of His glory too (I Chron. 16:8-13; Ps. 22:23).

It is doubtful whether Edward Perronet recognized the important distinction between God’s earthly people Israel, and His heavenly people the church, but we shall do so here. The church is not Israel, and Israel is not the church. One is a nation descended from Abraham, the other is a spiritual body made up of all nations. And the Lord has a wonderful future for each. We do have a spiritual kinship with Abraham, as the father of the faithful, but that does not make us Jews. Nevertheless, it is true also of the body of Christ, as for Israel, that we are to be to His praise, and bring glory to Him (Eph. 1:3-6; 3:21).

Finally, in the Millennial Kingdom, and on into eternity, all nations shall praise and glorify God forever, together with the hosts of heaven (Ps. 22:27-28; 145:21; Hab. 2:14). Central to our worship will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God (Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 5:13; 15:3-4). “All hail the power of Jesus’ name!”

Questions:
1) In addition to praising God with words that glorify Him, what other forms of praise and worship are there?

2) With this hymn, we exalt and extol the “power” in Jesus’ name.

☼ What does it mean that there is power in His name?
☼ Why is there such power in His name?
☼ Power for what, or to do what?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Edward Perronet, and see the three tunes)
The Cyber Hymnal


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