Perronet, Edward

Perronet, Edward was the son of Vincent Perronet (q.v.), and for some time the associate of the Wesleys. In Charles Wesley's diary he appears under the affectionate nickname of "Ned." In college Perronet figured as one of the poetic trio beside John and Charles Wesley. In 1746 he traveled with Charles Wesley in the north of England, and was then initiated into the persecutions and other trials of an itinerant preacher's life in early Methodism. Stevens says that "Perronet showed good courage, and sometimes intercepted blows and missiles aimed at Wesley by receiving them himself." In 1748, at the fifth Annual Conference, we find Perronet's name recorded as an itinerant member. Shortly after, however, he ceased to travel with the Wesleyans, having taken exception to Wesley's adherence to the Church. He was for a while employed by lady Huntingdon, and preached successfully at Norwich, Canterbury, and other places, but from her views of the Church he also differed so widely that he quitted her connection likewise, and became the pastor of a Church of Dissenters at Canterbury. He died in 1792. His last words were, "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 commit my spirit." He was the author of an anonymous poem called the Mitre, one of the most cutting satires on the National Establishment that has ever been written. It was suppressed, after it was in print, by the influence of John Wesley, it is thought, though he himself in later life said, "For forty years I have been in doubts concerning that question, ' What obedience is due to heathenish priests and mitred infidels?'" Charles Wesley was shocked at the poem, and declared it to be lacking in wit and of insufferable dullness, but his feeling as a churchman may have dimmed his sight as a critic. Perronet, however, it must be acknowledged, is severe, even though it be considered that in his day there was much to provoke his satirical genius. He wrote also several small poems, chiefly on sacred subjects, and hymns, published by request of his friends, and entitled Occasional Verses, Moral and Sacred, published for the Instruction and Amusement of the candidly Serious and Religious (1785). But that which has given him his place in the memory and gratitude of the Christian world is his hymn entitled The Coronation, beginning, "All Hail the power of Jesus' name." This hymn was in some measure the product of the times in which Perronet lived. They were times made memorable by the wonderful victories gained for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. See Stevens, Hist. of Methodism (see Index in vol. 3); Christopher, Epworth Singers, ch. 9.

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