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ed to the descriptions given in the Bible and other books of the trying temptations and inward conflicts of believers in every age of the world; and he speedily found that they, when tried and cast down, derived all their consolations and support from the gracious promises of a faithful, forgiving, and compassionate Saviour; that they, when heavy laden and perishing, found rest and help in him; and that they, though sinful and helpless, triumphed in his strength and through his blood. He at once perceived that the Christian life is a continual warfare; that no victory can be expected where there is no conflict; that the rest remaineth for those that labour; and that the crown is laid up for them that conquer. This attention to the history and experience of others led to a fuller contemplation of the perfections of a divine Redeemer, to a firmer reliance on his infinite atonement, to a stronger attachment to his cause, to greater devotedness in his service, to constant pantings after humility and holiness; and thus his perplexing fears were gradually dispelled, and peace and comfort followed.
About this time his friends at Bala, in conjunction with the late Rev. Dr. George Lewis—induced by the decided tone of unaffected piety that evidently characterised his whole deportment, together with his constant assiduity in acquiring scriptural knowledge, and his usefulness in the church—directed his thoughts to the work of the ministry. With much anxiety, and after considerable hesitation, he yielded to their solicitations, and preached his first sermon, Feb. 9, 1796, from John xiv. 6, and continued through life to preach Christ to perishing sinners as "the way, the truth, and the life."
The affecting views which he then had of the purity of the divine lawr
and of the love and wisdom displayed in the gospel plan of salvation through Christ, were such as frequently to overwhelm his feelings, both while studying his sermons, and while endeavouring to tell sinners of the dear Saviour he had found, of the rich provisions of sovereign mercy, and of the danger of such as reject the offered pardon. In May, 1797, an application to the supporters of the North Wales Academy was made on his behalf, and in the September following, he entered upon his preparatory studies at Wrexham, under the care of the late Rev. Jenkin Lewis. A few of the reflections, resolutions, and desires, recorded by him whilst a student, may assist the reader in forming an estimate of his character, and cannot prove uninteresting to young Christians, especially to such as are preparing for the work of the ministry.
Reflections '* I find, from experience,
that the way of piely is also the way of knowledge, as well as the way of peace. The neglect of religion can be of no advantage to the cause of science. The acquisition of knowledge can in no way be promoted by forgetting the Lord. I never feel happy in the pulpit unless prepared for its duties by previous meditation and prayer. A contrite heart renders public duties both instructive and delightful. I find it best to apply the various parts of my discourses as proceeding, while the remarks are fresh in the recollection of the hearers; and think that young ministers should aim more at awakening the careless, and winning the young, than at edifying the aged. Previous to any remarkable success, there must be a proportionable enlargement of soul; and, previous to any such enlargement of soul, there must be deep humiliation, constant watchfulness, strict self-examination, and fervent prayer. I never find it well on common days when not so on Lord's days; never well abroad when not so at home; never well at the domestic altar when not so in my private devotions. The more I pray, the better I study. Devotion leads to serenity of mind; serenity of mind sweetens meditation; and meditation, thus sanctified by prayer, fits the wind for public duties. How awful if, after preaching Christ to others, I have no personal interest in him; if, after encouraging others, I be found at last en the left hand, doomed to suffer everlasting
punishment. My own heart is more to be Wed than all the allied powers of earth and hell; for outward foes could never prevail were it not for vain desires and inbred corruptions. A good conscience I find to be the best medicine, and a contented mind the best companion. I have just witnessed the happy death of an interesting child in his ninth year; and think we should speak oftener to children about the love of Christ and the joys of heaven. I have also lately visited a dear afflicted relative, who wept almost every day for the last twelve months because she had not consecrated her youthful days more entirely to the Lord. Oh, how important the advantages of early religion!"
Resolutions.-—" Let me carefully study the history of Christ, sit at his feet, contemplate his sufferings, adore his love, and glory in his cross. Let me pray without ceasing, and trust in the Lord even when he withdraweth the joys of his salvation. Let me never preach without endeavouring to feel the importance of my subject. Let me never encourage any trifling in going to or returning from the service of the sanctuary. Let me judge rashly of no one, and envy no one's prosperity; but wish well to all, and speak well of all. Let me rise early, do all things m season, redeem time, avoid delays, and be moderate at meals and in all recreations. Let me always have a subject prepared for useful conversation when in company, and for devout contemplation when alone. Let me be continually disposed to do good and to receive food* Let my reading, conversation, and study, be subservient to practical religion and ministerial usefulness. Let me never be scheming about future events, and indulging in any discouraging forebodings, whilst I ought to be attending to present duties and watching against present temptations."
Dishes.—" May I always feel grateful for the important advantages which a kind providence has afforded me. May the resolutions I make be so impressed upon my heart as never to be forgotten. May 1 be well acquainted with the Bible, and with my own heart. May I be made wise to win souls and to comfort mourners. May I have much religion, much devotedness, and much to do with Christ."
In April, 1801, he received an invitation from the church at Holywell to become their minister; but, having received similar applications from other quarters, his mind, for several weeks about this time, seems to have been subject to considerable anxiety. His heart's desire was to follow the leadings of providence, and to be useful in his Matter'svineyard; and his decision
in favour of Holywell was influenced as much by the advice of friends as by his own feelings. The ordinances of the sanctuary always interested his mind, and proved at this time peculiarly refreshing. The services of a Sabbath spent at Denbigh, with the late excellent Dr. Edward Williams, a few days after the death of the Rev. Daniel Lloyd; the services of another spent at Bridgenorth with his amiable friend the late Rev. William Evans, afterwards of Stockport; the services of another spent at Holywell with his beloved tutor the late Rev. Jenkin Lewis; and of another spent at the same place with the late revered and affectionate John Whitridge, of Oswestry, —were long remembered by him. He also refers to two ordination services, and to his last interviews with the students and other friends when leaving Wrexham, as having deeply impressed and greatly affected his mind. He left the academy May 29, 1801, and the inscription recorded on the Ebenezer then raised by him is,—" I have this day ten thousand reasons to bless the Lord—to bless him for the precious advantages granted to one so unworthy, and for upholding one so helpless and sinful. May I in future be more humble, more holy, and more devoted to his service and glory."
He commenced his stated labours at Holywell on Sunday, May 31,1801, and preached in the morning from Rom. xv. 80, " Now I beseech you brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed." In the afternoon and evening he preached from Jude 24, and Psalm xxxi. 21.
On the 15th of July, 1802, he was ordained. The Rev. Dr. G. Lewis, Llanuwchllyn, and the Rev. Messrs. J. Lewis, Wrexham; B. Jones, Pwllheli; W. Brown, Wrexham; J. Wilson, Northwich; D. Davies, Welshpool; and T. Jones, Newmarket; assisted on the occasion. Mr. Jones, Newmarket, is now the only survivor.
In 1810, he published a collection of hymns, which has passed through several editions, and is now used by most of the congregational churches in the Principality; he also, during the last ten years, contributed largely to the Dysgedydd CrefyddoL
The prosperity of the Redeemer's cause, both in his own neighbourhood, and throughout the world, lay very near his heart; and he had the pleasing satisfaction of establishing several new interests in his own immediate neighbourhood. Four chapels were erected by him: one at Bagillt, in 1803; one at Rhesycae, in 1804; one at Heolmostyn, in 182G; and one at Penypyllau, in 1820. He was one of the secretaries to the Flintshire Auxiliary Bible Society for eighteen years; to the North Wales Auxiliary to the London Missionary Society for nine years; and to the Congregational Union for the counties of Flint and Denhigh for nine years. The committees and other friends with whom he acted in these several capacities most deeply feel the loss occasioned by the sudden removal of one so indefatigably active, so uniformly amiable, and so thoroughly disinterested. Seldom has the important cause of Christian missions lost a more zealous advocate. No minister in Wales laboured more towards cherishing a missionary spirit than Mr. Jones did. Indeed most of the intelligence contained in the chronicle department of the Dysgedydd was communicated by him. "His efforts to do good in season
and out of season were constant, and his course knew no other variety than that of the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Though his constitution was weak, and his health often delicate, he was equal to considerable labour both of mind and body. He has often, on a Sabbath-day, walked thirty miles, and performed three services; and, of late years, his mind seemed to be wholly weaned from the world, and his whole time was devoted to the cause of religion.
As most of the congregational churches in Wales have had to build or to enlarge their places of worship within the last few years, the heavy burdens thereby occasioned have been a source of many discouragements and of much painful anxiety—of anxiety the most disheartening to many who have the interest of the Saviour's cause much at heart—of anxiety that has interrupted the usefulness, destroyed the comforts, and broken the spirits, if not the hearts, of many devoted and faithful Christian ministers. This must have been keenly felt by a person of Mr. Jones's sensibility as a public character. In the beginning of last year, the distressed case of the Welsh congregation in Gartside Street, Manchester, excited much sympathy; and, after several ministers had greatly exerted themselves to obtain assistance for them in the Principality, Mr. Jones, and his friend, Mr. Roberts, of Denbigh, encouraged by the kind permission of the good Manchester people, consented to visit that town for the same object; and this leads us abruptly to the closing scene of our friend's life. His death, though affecting to his friends, was blissful to himself; and, though his Lord came at an unexpected hour, he was found active and vigilant. On Sunday,
the 21st of August—his last on earth—he preached three times, with unusual animation and effect. In the morning, under the influence of feelings deeply impressed by the loss of the Rothsay Castle, from Job vii. 10, "He shall return no more to his house;" in the afternoon, on brotherly love, being his concluding lecture on the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians; and, in the evening, a very sweet discourse, from Deut. iv. 4, on the safety and happiness of those who, amid trials and temptations, "cleave unto the Lord." At the close of the morning service, a hymn *' On the Death of a Minister" was selected by him to be sung by the congregation. On the following Tuesday evening, in compliance with his particular request, a much larger company than usual met at the prayer-meeting. When taking his leave of them, in a short but moving address, he said, " We may never meet again. Some of you may be taken before my return, or / may be taken; but, if we love the Lord, sudden death in such a case would be sudden glory." On Thursday morning, Aug. 25th, he and Mr. Roberts, of Denbigh, left home. They reached Liverpool that evening; and, after agreeing when and where to meet in the morning, they parted. Mr. Jones proceeded to the house of his friend, Mr. Gregson; but, in passing through
the warehouse, he fell through a trap-door; and, though medical assistance was instantly procured, he survived but little more than three hours. The event occasioned a very considerable sensation in the town, and much respect and Christian feeling were manifested. On Saturday the body was conveyed to Holywell, and the impression produced there by the suddenness of the shock—thesorrow of his friends, his relations, and his widow, who for twenty-five years had been a most affectionate help meet for him —cannot be described. The funeral, attended by thousands, took place on the Tuesday following. From twenty to thirty ministers of different denominations were present. Services suited to the affecting occasion were performed by the Rev. Messrs. Williams, of Wern, Roberts, of Denbigh, Breeze, of Liverpool,and Waterfield,of Wrexham; and, on the following Sabbath, two very impressive funeral sermons were addressed to the bereaved congregation; that in the morning, in English, by the Rev. J. Thorpe, of Chester, from Psalm xxxvi. 6; and that in the evening, in Welsh, by the Rev. W. Williams, of Wern, from Heb. xi. 4, "He being dead yet speaketh." Mr. Jones's last words were, "I
KNOW THAT I AM ACCEPTED."
March 6, 1832. S. R.
TO THE YOUNG CONVERT.
Reader.—In this short address, I am taking it for granted that religion has been brought home to your thoughts; and that meditation and prayer have been made effectual to convince you of your need of it, to reveal to you its true value, and to dispose you to embrace it cordially as the " one thing needful" in this life, and in the life to come. If I am correct in this conclusion, then, I need offer no apology for the following suggestions; for
I am persuaded they will he received as appropriate to your .present state of mind, and as the words of a friend who has at his heart a concern for your highest welfare.
I. Then, let me exhort you To Present
A DISTINCT AND SPECIAL OFFERING OF
PRAISE TO God For The Mercy Which Has Been Shewn You. All your blessings demand grateful acknowledgment, and their demand is in proportion to their excellence. But your conversion is the greatest blessing you have ever received, and should be the source of the most abundant praise. The nature of the benefit—so personal, so real—makes praise indispensable. How would the blind man, of necessity, rejoice in the hand that gave him sight! How would the deaf man glorify the power that restored him to hearing! If then, in a superior sense, your eyes are opened that you may see—if your ears are unstopped that you may hear—if God, in the greatness of'his mercy, has delivered "your eyes from tears, your feet from falling, and your soul from the lowest hell," what thanks do you not owe him! Think of the state from which you are redeemed—of the power shown in your redemption—of the' sacrifice made for that redemption—and let your whole heart become one offering of thankfulness to him who hath loved you, and washed you from your sins in his own blood!
II. Regard Your Conversion As The
BEGINNING OF A NEW LIFE UNTO A NEW
Obedience. Great mistake has existed on this subject, and it has often had injurious consequences. Religion has commenced by many anxieties and deep convictions, and the prevailing concern has ■been to find rest from these in the evidence of a true conversion. Hope has sprung up in the mind; and, when the young convert has been led to think himself regenerated, he has also been tempted to trust in this state as safe, and to suppose that nothing more of importance was necessary to him. To put yourself on your guard against this error, remember two things; first, that life is never given for its oion sake, but for its uses. Your spiritual life is given to you that you may "live unto God;" you are to walk in his ways, to hunger and thirst after his righteousness, and take a holy delight in his service. Then, secondly, remember, that your Christian life is in o very feeble state. If indeed you are truly converted, you truly live; but your life at present is the life of infancy and childhood. Your knowledge is small, your faith weak, and your charity limited. Consider, then, that you require to be "rooted and grounded" in the truth; that you are " to grow in knowledge and in grace;" and that you are to give " all diligence to add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience,
and to patience godliness, and to godliness, charity." Conversion is not the end of your course, but its beginning. It is the strait gate, opening on the narrow way; and all that way you must tread if ever you arrive in heaven!
III. That You May Happily "grow
IN GRACE " GIVE AN EARNEST ATTENTION
To All The Means Of Gracb. The several means appointed for your edification need not be here mentioned; you know them, you have been accustomed to regard them. There is, however, some evil to which you are now exposed, and to which before you were not liable. You are in danger, not so much of neglecting the appointed means, as of sinking down into a cold and formal use of them. Our first acts in religion spring from present emotion; but as these acts are repeated, they are formed into habits; and the danger is of doing from habit what was at first done from the heart. Excellent prayers are still offered, but the meaning is gone—praise is still expressed, but it dies on die tongue—the word is 6till heard, but not with the eagerness of men who feel they must feed on it or die. Guard against this temptation. None has been more common—none more injurious. Be not satisfied that the action is good, ask from time to time whether the motive is good, whether the end is good also.
Especially as a direction on this subject, be not satisfied with the use of any religious means, which does not bring to you its proper benefit. The great design of all our means and privileges is to bring us near to God. Whatever, therefore, may be your value of the word; of the ministry of that word; or of your seasons of retirement; rest not in them, but inquire whether they have this their proper end in you. If they do not increase your penitence for sin; your abhorrence of evil; your hope in the Saviour; your nonconformity to the world; and the hewenliness of your disposition; however great their use to others, they are useless to you. And the means by which you do not receive a benefit you receive an injury!
IV. Be Careful That You Do Not
CONFINE YOUR SENSE OF RELIGION TO THE USE OF RELIGIOUS MEANS. MoM
are in this state of mind than we imagine; and you cannot escape it but by watchfulness. They seek to have an impression of religion when on their knees>