All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name - The National Anthem of Christendom
Edward Perronet wrote All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name during the time of the formation of the government of the United States. United States citizens today enjoy lives of personal freedom and initiative remarkable in human history. It is almost unimaginable to us to consider living under the rule of an all-powerful king whose dictates would control every aspect of our lives. Yet this is precisely the central idea of Perronet’s great hymn.
Consent of the Governed
The second paragraph of The Declaration of Independence opens with this bold statement: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
Divine Right of Kings
Such a statement was in stark contrast to the principle of the “divine right” of kings. This principle reached its greatest fulfillment in Western civilization during the 17th and 18th century “age of enlightenment.” Under this system, a high church official crowned the king (or queen). The coronation signified the blessing of the Church and the conveying of absolute divine authority. Such authority included the power to rule over everyone and everything within the boundaries of the monarch’s domain.
There was some expectation (hope!?) of responsibility that the monarch would rule wisely and benevolently. However, this expectation was, practically speaking, almost always superseded by the invocation of absolute authority.
A Government of Laws instead of by Monarchs
Over a decade after the Declaration and following an improbable successful revolution for independence from the rule of the British king, the new United States of America maintained the idea of equality of all citizens under a government of laws instead of by monarchs. The new country forged and ratified these ideas into a constitution, which continues as the bedrock of U.S. government today.
Jesus Christ Lord of All
In All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name, Perronet retains the language of the King James version of the Bible. Christ Jesus is named ruler of all creation with an authority which is over all the earth and heaven. Of course this is not an earthly kingdom, but an eternal one founded on perfect justice and perfect love. Such a kingdom requires perfect obeisance. The stanzas invite all believers to sing in response— “Hail Him who saves you by his grace…” and “fall before His face Who tunes the choir, and crown Him Lord of all.” In summary, this great hymn can plausibly be considered, "The National Anthem of Christendom."