At the Name of Jesus: The Making
“At the Name of Jesus” is a powerful hymn written by Caroline M. Noel in 1870. Noel referenced the text from Philippians 2:6-11 and John 1:1 in the first stanza, Psalms 33:6-9 in the second stanza, Colossians 2:15 in the third stanza, and Acts 1:11 in the sixth stanza.
Caroline M. Noel is the daughter of a hymn writer and Anglican clergyman Hon. Gerard T. Noel, She was born on April 10, 1817, in London. She wrote her first hymn entitled “Draw nigh unto my soul” when she was seventeen. She wrote about a dozen other pieces until she turned 20. She abandoned writing poems for twenty years and restored her passion when she turned 40. She had frequent bouts of illness that caused her eventually to become invalid. Her suffering had pushed her to write devotional verses again and her main goal was to encourage and bring hope to both herself and to the ill or incapacitated ones. The text which originally started with “In the Name of Jesus” was designed for use as a processional hymn on Ascension Day. It appeared in her 1870 collection which included stanzas 1, 3-5, and 7-8 of Noel's original eight stanzas. The song is a confession of faith that Paul quotes in Philippians 2:6-11. The triumph of the ascended Jesus to whom every knee should bow is reflected on the first stanza. The mighty Word through whom “creation sprang at once to sight” is written in the second stanza. Looking back to Christ’s suffering, humiliation, death, resurrection, and ascension was expressed on stanzas 3 and 4. The song encourages all of us on the fifth stanza to have a mind of Christ by submitting ourselves to Him. The text ends in the sixth stanza with the expectation of the return of Jesus as “King of glory."
One of the tunes which the song is associated with is called Wye Valley, composed by James Mountain in 1876. James Mountain studied at Gainford Academy, Rotherham College, Nottingham Institute, and Cheshunt College. He later became a pastor at Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire and conducted evangelism campaigns in Britain in 1874 to 1882 and worldwide in 1882-1889.