Hymn History: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”

2 min

Believers know that God’s Word is living and active and able to pierce men’s hearts. While the Holy Spirit uses His Word to convict men of sin, righteousness, and judgment, He sometimes uses other means as well. Such was the case of Edward Perronet’s hymn, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” 

Several hundred years ago, India was an unreached land, filled with unknown dangers. Yet, missionaries bravely ventured into its depths to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In cities, priests and temple leaders of the demonic religions put up fierce opposition. In the wild, the tribes of headhunters dwelt in spiritual darkness, threatening those who would come near. Still, missionaries continued to travel to this pagan country, hoping to bring the Good News.

Reverend E. P. Scott was one such brave missionary. After ministering in India for seven years in the villages, he one day encountered a tribesman from the wild. The Holy Spirit filled the missionary’s heart to go to the man’s tribe. When Reverend Scott announced his decision to visit the savage tribe, his friends begged him not to go. However, he knew he must. After several days of strenuous hiking, Reverend Scott suddenly found himself surrounded by a hostile group of warriors! Their sharp spears were pointed at him. Expecting to be speared at any moment, Reverend Scott slowly removed his violin from his pack and breathed a prayer heavenward. Then, with his eyes closed, he began to play his instrument while singing Mr. Perronet’s hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” As he awaited death by those tribesmen’s deadly spears, he sang out:

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

Reverend Scott slowly opened his eyes and looked around. Every spear was lowered, and some of the savage warriors were even crying! They had been touched by the power of God! Reverend Scott spent the next two years leading that tribe to Christ, teaching them how God’s justice and mercy are intertwined to provide mankind salvation. 

The hymn writer, Mr. Perronet, also ministered to the unsaved. In his earlier years, he worked alongside the Wesleys, preaching the message of God’s justice and salvation. 

Are you willing to let God work through your life to make His ways known? May our lives be examples and our words helpful to those who want to know how to live in accordance with the unchanging laws of God.

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