Crown Him

Here’s a fun word:


It’s an adjective describing a song. It is so powerfully appointed, written, and timed as to describe a time in history and motivate it forward to matter in the books written about that moment for years and maybe even centuries to come. Consider “The Wall” or “Stairway to Heaven.” Both songs were written in a time they described very well, both musically, as well as lyrically. But more importantly, it described the desire to leave that era for a new one for those who embraced it. It described the fruition of the culture found in its melodies.

Sitting around a poker table in Hawaii during one of my last nights there, the guys and I described how certain songs seemed to be anthemic for the Vietnam era. Consider “All Along the Watchtower” by Hendrix or “Fortunate Son” by CCR.

All of the songs above are songs that would have many imitators follow them. But only a few songs are timed appropriately to express the zeitgeist of their setting.

Edward Perronet was one such anachronism, a man outside of his time setting of the mid 18th century. He descended from French Huguenots (Protestant outcasts in France, persecuted and exiled) and grew up in England. His father was an Anglican pastor in the Church of England, a post Edward would himself pursue. [1]

Both Perronet men were affectionate of the evangelistic movement spearheaded by the Wesleys. The senior was content to admire them and continue to minister. Edward, spurred by idealism and youth, broke with the Church of England, left his position and worked alongside of the men who would spawn Methodism.

Edward apparently penned many hymns during his travels with the Wesleys; travels that were filled with excitement, ministry, persecution, and growth. For whatever reason, he chose to anonymously publish his hymns. Most hymns were composed in two parts in those days. Musical composers took charge of a song only after its lyrics were written.

One song survived to receive credit back to Edward. It would come to be known as a national anthem of Christianity.

All hail the power of Jesus name
Let angels prostrate fall
Bring forth the royal diadem and
Crown Him Lord of all

It’s easy to understand why this song became anthemic in its time. The church was experiencing a great awakening among the people who professed the name of Christ. Suddenly, the church building was not the only place for worship. In fact, in those days, the church building became the last thought for many people who wished to see the Gospel advance.

The Wesleys advanced town to town with the same message of repentance and salvation. Massive numbers were added to those who believed and the secondary idea of denominations fell to the wayside for favor and fervor of the growing Kingdom of God.

The only name that mattered was the one that was being lifted up in increasing numbers across Europe and in America, once the awakening would reach across the pond. The name of Jesus was preached over the name of Calvin, Luther, or Pope. His Kingdom advanced rapidly and people of different stripes would come together to be united in Him.

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race
Ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him who saves you by His grace
And crown Him Lord of all

How interesting to connect all saved persons to the family of Jacob. Not only in grafting, but in planting. They were considered from the seed of the great tree that reached from beginning to end of time. And again, all of these people saved from sin are called on to simply recognize the right of Christ to rule in such a heart

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

Again! We call on everyone on this earth to ascribe(without thought for self, self definition, church membership, and people group) majesty to God because He is worth the extraordinary volume of words.

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

That’s the goal, right? To finally be joined in eternity with the greatest of our people. We will join passed family and family that will follow long after we pass. We will join the famous men of history and the Bible and the quiet undocumented men and women lost to time but not lost to God. And, if the Westminster Confession is to be believed, join them all in the greatest and most pleasurable exercise available to our people: the worship of a holy God.

An interesting story is told of this specific song. A missionary carried this song, this Christ, and a violin into India. When he finally made contact with the sought after tribe, they did not receive him well. He stood at the ends of spears intended to murder him.

So he pulled out his violin and began to play and sing this song as his last dedication to his God before entering into fellowship with him forever.

Strangely enough, the man did not wake up dead.

Instead, after singing the verse about every kindred and every tribe, he opened his eyes, according to Robert Morgan. “There stood the warriors, some in tears, every spear lowered. Scott (the missionary) spent the next two years evangelizing the tribe.” [2]

While we do not currently enjoy a “national anthem” of Christianity, we do occasionally have songs that capture our culture and interest. So many are the songs that are released and so high the quality, that they pass into and out of our attention span fairly rapidly. “Oceans” is definitely a contender. “Reckless Love” is another.

Few songs written today capture the call for unity like this song. It calls for unity not that we may benefit, and not that we may work together. In fact, our unity does not matter much at all to us. Its benefit to us is simply a byproduct.

Unity is a special creation of God. He is unity personified in the trinity. In Him are united all of the people reconciled to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ. And that unity is His crown.

May we ever gather together and give Him His due: the throne of our hearts, the royal rainment of His love, the crown of our united devotion, not that we must, but because we finally can.

1. Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories: The Inspiring True Stories Behind 101 Favorite Hymns, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012) 23.

2. Robert J. Morgan, Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymn Stories, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003) 77.

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