Posted by: rcottrill | July 16, 2018

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Edward Perronet (b. ___, 1726; d. Jan. 2, 1792)
Music: Coronation, by Oliver Holden (b. Sept. 18, 1765; d. Sept. 4, 1844)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: The son of an Anglican clergyman, Perronet became a coworker of John and Charles Wesley. The exact date of his birth is disputed. In another article I’ve suggested it could be August 2nd, 1721. As noted in the Cyber Hymnal, there are several tunes used with this superb hymn.

Hymnary.org presents many copies of the hymn, dating back to 1792. That version, in seven stanzas, calls upon the following to “crown” the Lord Jesus (exalt Him with their praise): angels, martyrs, Jews, Gentiles, men of all ages and ranks, all nations and tribes, and the “yonder sacred throng” (i.e. the saints in heaven).

The word “power” comes from an old word poer, meaning to be able. It refers to having the strength or ability to do or accomplish something. And various kinds of power are operative in our world, often in combination with one another.

1) Physical Might
There is physical or natural power. The destructive force of lightning, or of an explosion of dynamite are examples. So is the muscular strength and endurance of an athlete.

2) Exercising Authority
A major force in our world is the power of authority–to be able to give a command and something gets done. We see this exercised by the president of a corporation, in the operation of law and order, and in the government. Because of human nature, this form of power can often be abused. Isabella, in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, observes, “Man, proud man! dressed in a little brief authority, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep.”

3) Corporate Power
Another kind of result comes from what we might call corporate power, people acting together to do what one alone couldn’t accomplish. This can be seen when, for instance, pallbearers carry a casket, or when workers go on strike. It’s also evident when people exercise the power of the ballot box. An army or a police force combine the power of authority and corporate power to do what they do.

4) Making an Appeal
Then there is the power of an appeal. Advertisers use that, when they present their product or service and try to convince us to purchase it. The employee asking for a raise is also making an appeal. And speech making and preaching fall into this category.

5) A Living Example
Finally, there’s the power of a living example–either good or bad. No direct appeal is made, but character and lifestyle are on display, and the example itself has influence, sometimes even drowning out what is claimed or proclaimed. As poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “What you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.”

Now, for a moment, direct your thoughts to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God, when He was on earth, and now from heaven, displayed His divine power in many ways. In truth, a little reflection will show that each of the five kinds of power mentioned has been demonstrated by Christ, if we think of “corporate power” in terms of the triune Godhead working together, or Christ working through His church.

Below are some of the ways the Son of God has revealed His power. (I’ll simply mention the Bible references, in order to cover a bit more ground.)

Christ has the power to create and to sustain His creation (Jn. 1:1-3; Rom. 1:20; Heb. 1:3). He showed, on earth, the power to work miracles–a mastery over material creation, and authority over the spirit world as well (Lk. 4:36).

There was the power of personal authority in His teaching, the words He spoke (Matt. 7:29; Mk. 1:22; Lk. 4:32), and the wonderful power in the example He left with us of how to live a holy life, pleasing to God and show love to others (I Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:2; I Pet. 2:21).

He has the authority to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6), and to grant eternal salvation (Jn.. 17:2; I Cor. 1:18). And He has power over His own life and death (Jn. 10:18; Rom. 1:4), and power to raise others from the dead at the future Resurrection Day (Jn. 11:25).

God the Father has given Christ authority over the church (Eph. 1:22-23). He has the power to guide and equip His servants (Matt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11-12), and power to help us deal with the trials of life (II Cor. 12:9; Phil. 3:10). Finally, Christ will show glorious power at His return (Matt. 24:30, 64), and forever (Jude 1:25; Rev. 5:12).

When Edward Perronet (1726-1792) penned the great hymn All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, he was using the word “name,” as the Bible often does, to represent the Lord’s person, and all His divine attributes. As later revised by John Rippon (1751-1836), the hymn reads as follows (slightly modified from what the Cyber Hymnal has).

CH-1) All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all!

CH-8) Let every kindred, every tribe,
On this terrestrial ball,
To Him all majesty ascribe,
And crown Him Lord of all!

CH-9) O that, with yonder sacred throng,
We at His feet may fall,
We’ll join in the everlasting song,
And crown Him Lord of all!

Questions:
1) What type of Christ’s power is most helpful to you, and why?

2) Why do you think this hymn has been called “the National Anthem of Christendom”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


Responses

  1. one of my favorite hymns to sing when growing up!!!

    • And a great song for “grown-ups” too. 🙂 Great to hear from you.

      • oh that it is Robert—and thank you for the email—I will respond shortly.
        My husband just retired from running a business for 50 years so we are still sorting and setlling the dust—plus we have our very first grandchild—a flurry of activities…but these are truly good!!!!


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