Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
He was the son of an Anglican minister, descended
from French Huguenots who fled the continent in the 1700s to escape religious persecution. For a time,
Perronet was a co-worker of John and Charles Wesley. John Wesley was always trying to get him
to preach; but Perronet, though capable but 18 years younger, was somewhat in awe of Wesley,
and always deferred to him. Any time John Wesley was present, Perronet felt Wesley should do
the preaching. But John Wesley was not one to take “no” for an answer. So, one day, in the
middle of a meeting, he simply announced, “Brother Perronet will now speak.” Thinking
quickly, Perronet stood before the large crowd and declared, “I will now deliver the greatest
sermon ever preached on earth.” You can imagine he got everyone’s attention. He then read the
Sermon on the Mount, and sat down. In 1779, his hymn "All Hail the Power" (of Jesus' name)
This hymn is often called the "National Anthem of
Christendom." The hymn first appeared in the November, 1779, issue of the Gospel Magazine,
edited by Augustus Toplady, author of "Rock of Ages". Since its first American appearance in
two hymnals (Baptist and Universalist) in 1792, it has been included in some 2,300 American
collections; and this text has been translated into almost every language where Christianity
is known. And wherever it is sung, it communicates to the spiritual needs of human hearts.
One writer has said, "So long as there are Christians on earth, it will continue to be sung;
and after that, in heaven."
Edward Perronet was born at Sundridge, Kent,
England, in 1726 and died January 2, 1792, and is buried at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent,
England He was a descendant of a distinguished French Huguenot (Presbyterian) family who had
fled to Switzerland and later to England because of the religious persecution in France.
Edward's father, a pastor in the State Church of England, was strongly sympathetic with the
evangelical movement spearheaded by the Wesleys and George Whitefield.
Edward, too, became a minister in the Anglican
Church but was always critical of its ways. Once he wrote, "I was born, and I am likely to
die, in the tottering communion of the Church of England; but I despise her nonsense." Soon,
however, he withdrew from the Anglican Communion and accepted the pastorate of a small
Congregational church in Canterbury where he remained until his death in 1792. And he threw
himself strenuously into the evangelistic endeavors of the Wesleys during the 1740's and
1750's. It was during this time that the Wesleys and their followers suffered much
persecution and even violence from those who disagreed with their ministry.
Concerning these experiences, Wesley made the
following notation in his 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." Eventually, Perronet's
strong-mindedness and free spirit caused a break with the Wesleys, especially on the issue of
whether the evangelists as well as the regular ministers could administer the sacraments.
Perronet continued to the end of his days as pastor of an independent church at Canterbury,
England. His last words have also become classic: "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."
Though Perronet wrote many other hymns and
forms of poetry, most of which he published anonymously, "All Hail the Power" is his only
work to be remembered.
Many interesting accounts are said to have been
associated with the use of this hymn. One of the most remarkable is a story told by E. P.
Scott, a pioneer missionary to India. One day he was waylaid by a murderous band of tribesmen
who were closing in on him with spears. On impulse the missionary took his violin out of his
luggage and began to play and sing this hymn. When he reached the stanza "let every kindred,
every tribe," he saw to his surprise every spear lowered and many of these tribesmen moved to
tears. Scott spent the remaining years of his life preaching and ministering God's love and
redemption to these people. God in His providence used a simple hymn as a means of
introducing the gospel to a group of needy pagans.
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You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now