Edward Perronet

Edward Perronet
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Short Name: Edward Perronet
Full Name: Perronet, Edward, 1721-1792
Birth Year: 1721
Death Year: 1792

Edward Perronet was the son of the Rev. Vincent Perronet, Vicar of Shoreham, Kent. For some time he was an intimate associate of the Wesleys, at Canterbury and Norwich. He afterwards became pastor of a dissenting congregation. He died in 1792. In 1784, he published a small volume, entitled "Occasional Verses, Moral and Social;" a book now extremely rare. At his death he is said to have left a large sum of money to Shrubsole, who was organist at Spafield's Chapel, London, and who had composed the tune "Miles Lane" for "All hail the power of Jesus' Name!"
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872.

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Perronet, Edward. The Perronets of England, grandfather, father, and son, were French emigres. David Perronet came to England about 1680. He was son of the refugee Pasteur Perronet, who had chosen Switzerland as his adopted country, where he ministered to a Protestant congregation at Chateau D'Oex. His son, Vincent Perronet, M.A., was a graduate of Queen's College, Oxford, though his name is not found in either Anthony Woods's Athenae Oxonienses nor his Fasti, nor in Bliss's apparatus of additional notes. He became, in 1728, Vicar of Shoreham, Kent. He is imperishably associated with the Evangelical Revival under the Wesleys and Whitefield. He cordially cooperated with the movement, and many are the notices of him scattered up and down the biographies and Journals of John Wesley and of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon. He lived to the venerable age of ninety-one; and pathetic and beautiful is the account of John Wesley's later visits to the white-haired saint (b. 1693, d. May 9, 1785).* His son Edward was born in 1726. He was first educated at home under a tutor, but whether he proceeded to the University (Oxford) is uncertain. Born, baptized, and brought up in the Church of England, he had originally no other thought than to be one of her clergy. But, though strongly evangelical, he had a keen and searching eye for defects. A characteristic note to The Mitre, in referring to a book called The Dissenting Gentleman's answer to the Rev. Mr. White, thus runs:—"I was born, and am like to die, in the tottering communion of the Church of England; but I despise her nonsense; and thank God that I have once read a book that no fool can answer, and that no honest man will". The publication of The Mitre is really the first prominent event in his life. A copy is preserved in the British Museum, with title in the author's holograph, and manuscript notes; and on the fly-leaf this:— "Capt. Boisragon, from his oblig'd and most respectful humble servt. The Author. London, March 29th, 1757." The title is as follows:— The Mitre; a Sacred Poem (1 Samuel ii. 30). London: printed in the year 1757. This strangely overlooked satire is priceless as a reflex of contemporary ecclesiastical opinion and sentiment. It is pungent, salted with wit, gleams with humour, hits off vividly the well-known celebrities in Church and State, and is well wrought in picked and packed words. But it is a curious production to have come from a "true son" of the Church of England. It roused John Wesley's hottest anger. He demanded its instant suppression; and it was suppressed (Atmore's Methodist Memorial, p. 300, and Tyerman, ii. 240-44, 264, 265); and yet it was at this period the author threw himself into the Wesleys' great work. But evidences abound in the letters and journals of John Wesley that he was intermittently rebellious and vehement to even his revered leader's authority. Earlier, Edward Perronet dared all obloquy as a Methodist. In 1749 Wesley enters in his diary:

"From Rochdale went to Bolton, and soon found that the Rochdale 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" (Tyerman's Life and Times of the Rev. John Wesley, M.A., 3 vols., 1870 ; vol. ii. 57).

In 1750 John Wesley writes:

”Charles and you [Edward Perronet] behave as I want you to do; but you cannot, or will not, preach where I desire. Others can and will preach where I desire, but they do not behave as I want them to do. I have a fine time between the one and the other. I think Charles and you have in the general a right sense of what it is to serve as sons in the gospel; and if all our helpers had had the same, the work of God would have prospered better both in England and Ireland. I have not one preacher with me, and not six in England, whose wills are broken to serve me" (ibid. ii. 85, and Whitehead's Life of Wesley, ii. 259).

In 1755 arrangements to meet the emergency created by its own success had to be made for Methodism. As one result, both Edward and Charles Perronet broke loose from John Wesley's law that none of his preachers or "helpers" were to dispense the Sacraments, but were still with their flocks to attend the parish churches. Edward Perronet asserted his right to administer the Sacraments as a divinely-called preacher ibid. ii. 200). At that time he was resident at Canterbury, "in a part of the archbishop's old palace" (ibid. ii. 230. In season and out of season he "evangelized." Onward, he became one of the Countess of Huntingdon's "ministers" in a chapel in Watling Street, Canterbury. Throughout he was passionate, impulsive, strong-willed; but always lived near his divine Master. The student-reader of Lives of the Wesleys will be "taken captive" by those passages that ever and anon introduce him. He bursts in full of fire and enthusiasm, yet ebullient and volatile. In the close of his life he is found as an Independent or Congregational pastor of a small church in Canterbury. He must have been in easy worldly circumstances, as his will shows. He died Jan. 2, 1792, and was buried in the cloisters of the great cathedral, Jan. 8. His Hymns were published anonymously in successive small volumes. First of all came Select Passages of the Old and New Testament versified; London: Printed by H. Cock, mdcclvi. … A second similar volume is entitled A Small Collection of Hymns, &c, Canterbury: printed in the year dcclxxxii. His most important volume was the following:— Occasional Verses, moral and sacred. Published for the instruction and amusement of the Candidly Serious and Religious. London, printed for the Editor: And Sold by J. Buckland in Paternoster Row; and T. Scollick, in the City Road, Moorfields, mdcclxxxv. pp. 216 (12°). [The British Museum copy has the two earlier volumes bound up with this.] The third hymn in this scarce book is headed, “On the Resurrection," and is, ”All hail the power of Jesus' name". But there are others of almost equal power and of more thorough workmanship. In my judgment, "The Lord is King" (Psalm xcvi. 16) is a great and noble hymn. It commences:—

“Hail, holy, holy, holy Loud!
Let Pow'rs immortal sing;
Adore the co-eternal Word,
And shout, the Lord is King."

Very fine also is "The Master's Yoke—the Scholar's Lesson," Matthew xi. 29, which thus opens:—

O Grant me, Lord, that sweet content
That sweetens every state;
Which no internal fears can rent,
Nor outward foes abate."

A sacred poem is named "The Wayfaring Man: a Parody"; and another, "The Goldfish: a Parody." The latter has one splendid line on the Cross, "I long to share the glorious shame." "The Tempest" is striking, and ought to be introduced into our hymnals; and also "The Conflict or Conquest over the Conqueror, Genesis xxxii. 24". Still finer is "Thoughts on Hebrews xii.," opening:—

"Awake my soul—arise!
And run the heavenly race;
Look up to Him who holds the prize,
And offers thee His grace."

"A Prayer for Mercy on Psalm cxix. 94," is very striking. On Isaiah lxv. 19, is strong and unmistakable. "The Sinner's Resolution," and "Thoughts on Matthew viii. 2," and on Mark x. 51, more than worthy of being reclaimed for use. Perronet is a poet as well as a pre-eminently successful hymnwriter. He always sings as well as prays. It may be added that the brief paraphrase after Ovid given below, seems to echo the well-known lines in Gray's immortal elegy:—

"How many a gem unseen of human eyes,
Entomb'd in earth, a sparkling embryo lies;
How many a rose, neglected as the gem,
Scatters its sweets and rots upon its stem:
So many a mind, that might a meteor shone,
Had or its genius or its friend been known;
Whose want of aid from some maternal hand,
Still haunts the shade, or quits its native land."

[Rev. A. B. Grosart, D.D., LL.D.]

* Agnew's Protestant Exiles from France in the Reign of Louis XIV. confounds Vincent the father with Edward his son.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Texts by Edward Perronet (23)sort iconAsInstances
Al pris og lov til Jesus b'rEdward Perronet (Author)2
All hail the great Emmanuel's nameEdward Perronet (Author)56
All hail the power of Jesus' name, Let angels prostrate fallEdward Perronet (Author)2346
All Jesu m'cht'gen Nam besingtEdward Perronet (Author)1
Bud oslaveny Jezis PanEdward Perronet (Author)2
Caŋku waŋ teca ni uŋ, ChristEdward Perronet (Author)1
Hail, holy, holy, holy Lord, Let powers immortal singEdward Perronet (Author)12
Hell, Jesus utaf BetlehemEdward Perronet (Author)5
Henffych i enw Iesu gwiwPerronett (Author)3
Hoegtlovat vare jesu namnEdward Perronet (Author)2
Hoeher als der wall der weltenEdward Perronet (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy, Lord! Live by heavenEdward Perronet (Author)2
Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts AlmightyEdward Perronet (Author)2
Ho'okani i ke 'Lii maika'iEdward Perronet, 1726-1792 (Author)3
Laut ruehmet JesuEdward Perronet (Author)2
Let every kindred, every tribeEdward Perronet (Author)2
Loores dad a Cristo el Rey, Suprema potestadEdward Perronet (Author)5
Lovpriset v're Jesu navnEdward Perronet (Author)2
O that with yonder sacred throngEdward Perronet (Author)1
Preis sei dem Namen Jesu ChristEdward Perronet (Author)9
Saudai o nome de JesusEdward Perronet (Author)3
Singt Jesu Namen Lob, vor demEdward Perronet (Author)2
Ye chosen seed of Isr'l's raceEdward Perronet (Author)2

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