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THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND MAGAZINE,
MEMOIR OF THE REV. THOMAS JONES, M.A.
LATE CHAPLAIN OF ST. SAVIOUR'S, SOUTHWARK.
PROVIDENCE had cast the lot of the vened in their representatives.”* subject of this memoir in those days While things were in this state, a of our Church when she was just certain number of serious persons awaking from the long slumber met at stated times for the purpose which had stolen upon her since of praying that God would be the Revolution. It is well- pleased, in His mercy to the estabknown that, during the earlier part lishment, to raise up faithful minisof the last century, the sermons ters in it; and within a space, it delivered by the English clergy pleased Him to answer these petiwere, for the most part, mere moral tions by raising up many true essays, in which the doctrine of the
pastors both in town and country.t atonement and the name of Jesus But it was not to be expected that were but sparingly introduced, and persons could then come forward anything like earnest exhortation
a free salvation seemed to be deprecated as indica- through the alone merits of Jesus tive of false taste. "On Sunday Christ our Redeemer," without last,” says the author of the “Me- meeting much opposition. Yet, in ditations," “ a neighbouring cler- spite of all impediments, the word gyman sent me, for my perusal, a of God went on and prospered : Sermon, preached by Dr. T-k and a fire was kindled in the Church before the House of Commons, on whose warmth is felt at the present the late public fast (February 1756). day. When I perused it, and saw not a Of this noble minority the Rev. single mention of Christ, nor a Thomas Jones formed one. He single hint of an evangelical nature, was born in the year 1729 or 1730; I was surprised and grieved: and but of his parents, or early life, no so much the more,
as it was information is given by his biograpreached by one of the most celebrated divines in the kingdom, and
* Hervey's Works, vol. 5, p. 312. 8vo.
† Middleton's Evangelical Biography, before the whole kingdom con- vol. 4, p. 389.
pher, the Rev. William Romaine, is exceeding sinful, because the law who has confined himself to a rela- is holy, just, and good, a perfect tion of his spiritual history; con- copy of the divine perfections." sidering that, as to the other That the life of Mr. Jones preparticulars of his life, it was of no vious to his conversion had been consequence to lay them before the outwardly moral we have every public. He took the degree of M.A. reason to suppose, as his natural at Queen's College, Cambridge. disposition was most amiable, and
Mr.Romaine's acquaintance with the meekness of his temper emihim commenced in the year 1754; nently great. But when the Holy at which time, I presume, he held Spirit showed him the dark chamthe chaplaincy of St. Saviour's, bers of his heart in the light of Southwark. He was then suffer- God's word, he discovered sins of ing great anxiety respecting the whose existence he had been unastate of his soul. “ His first ware, which lay there, coiled up, like awakening,” says Mr. R., “was serpents hissing against the majesty by the gradual working of the law of heaven. He learned that the sins upon his conscience. It was not of the heart were not the less danby outward means, such as hearing gerous because they were concealed, the word preached, or by some but that, on the contrary, they afflicting providence, sickness, trou- were the fountain from which all sin ble or the like, but by the inward flows, and which in the heart of conviction of sin, that the Spirit of the natural man is ever flowing God wrought upon his conscience.
He learned these lessons, He had his strongest convictions continues Mr. R., “with such a where he could have no means. deep experience, that the impresThe views which he had hereby of sion lasted all his days. For when his state and danger were very
God showed him great mercy, and deep and very distressing. While he was enabled to believe in the he was under this soul-concern my Lord Jesus, yet still he found acquaintance first began with him. nothing of himself wherein to glory. And since that time, which is about Humble and low in his own eyes, eight years ago, our great intimacy he was ready to give the honour to and friendship has given me a con- whom alone honour was due. Yea, stant opportunity of being a witness after he was greatly strengthened of God's gracious dealings with his and established, so as to live by soul. He went mourning for a faith on the Son of God, still he long time, bowed down under the knew that all was mercy. Mercy, sense of guilt and the power
free mercy, had from him all the belief. In this school of humilia
And this was so much the tion he learned self-knowledge. frame and abiding temper of his Here he was taught the sad effect mind, that it appeared on all occaof a ruined, spoiled nature; of a sions. His spiritual friends and soul depraved in all its faculties, acquaintance can bear me witness and estranged from the mind and that he was clothed with humility, will of God, and governed by its and that he walked humbly with own corrupt and stubborn will, his God. A demonstration this, commanding the body to give up that he had found mercy, because its members as instruments of un- he had made it the end and aim of righteousness unto sin. Here he his life to show forth the praises of was taught what sin is, namely, that free mercy which he had so the transgression of the law, which freely received.”
As a necessary consequence of the author, that he can congratuthese doctrinal views, we find him late his countrymen on the revival indefatigable in his ministerial du- of inward religion and vital holiness ties. His own flock was much on in this land. The amazing progress his heart: he was often heard in the Gospel has lately made among earnest prayer for them : and was us cannot but rejoice the heart of always studying and contriving every true believer in Jesus. My something that might be useful to brethren in the ministry must partheir best interest. In the Lent ticularly rejoice when they see the season of 1755, he commenced a work of the Lord thus prospering series of Eight Discourses on the in their hands.' It is the desire of Church Catechism, which were de- my soul to be in some degree inlivered in the course of that year, strumental in promoting this gloriand having reason to think that ous work : with this view I put they had been greatly blessed from forth the following discourse, hopthe pulpit, he hoped that they ing that it may be made useful to might be made still more useful those in whose hearts a work of from the press, and therefore pub- grace is begun, and excite a thirst lished them in the following year. after righteousness in such of my On the 16th September 1755, he dear fellow-mortals as are yet in preached, at St. Saviour's, a Ser- their sins. Our Saviour often mon, on Acts xx. 26, (latter part) works by the meanest instruments. at the Visitation of the Archdeacon May he be pleased to work by of Surrey, which, in consequence of its being “misrepresented by some “ In the parish of St. Saviour's,” and mistaken by more,” he publish- says his biographer, " there is an ed. It reached a seventh edition. almshouse, called the College,' In February, 1756, he published and some small stipend for doing two Sermons, preached at St. Sa- duty in it. Mr. Jones thought it viour's, accompanied by a serious not right to take the
unless and affectionate Address to the he did the duty. Accordingly he inhabitants of that parish. The began to read prayers, and to exlatter of these sermons was preach- pound the Scriptures in the college ed on the Fast-day, to an especially chapel, and went on for some time. numerous congregation from Mat- The congregation used to be very thew v. 25, 26; and is a solemn large, and the success was very and energetic appeal to the con- great. Many souls were in this sciences of his hearers, boldly place first awakened, who are now declaring man to be by nature the walking in the faith and fear of adversary of God, and setting forth God, adorning the Gospel of our the atonement of Jesus, as the only Saviour. But here he was stopped, means by which an agreement" and refused the use of the chapel. with Him can be effected. A After this, he set up a weekly striking contrast to the Sermon lecture in his church, but he had preached, on the same day, before not preached it long, before he was Parliament, to which Mr. Hervey denied the use of the pulpit. Howrefers ! In May, in the same year, ever, he was not discouraged, he he published a sermon, preached in went on giving away good books, his own parish church, entitled some of which he carried in person “ The Beauties of Spring,” (Cant. to every house in the parish ; and ü. 10–13,) in the preface to which paying religious visits among his he says, “It is a real pleasure to parishioners, when they used to
TO MR. T-S
talk freely of the state of their ness and salvation. Believe not souls. By these methods he tried the insinuations of the enemy; but to win his people to Christ, beside tell him, he was a liar and a murthe stated duties of his office; in derer from the beginning! Go to performing of which he seemed to the throne of grace, throw yourself set God always before him, and to at the feet of Immanuel, even if you be greatly drawn out in love to his have not a word to say ; resolve, if hearers, of whom a very great you perish, to perish at his feet, and number, I trust, did frequent his you shall soon experience his love ministry, not led thither by the and tender mercy, and sweetly find, ease of his delivery, the sweetness that of his voice, or the smoothness of his periods, but because they felt
• He knows what sore temptations
mean, the weight and importance of the
For He hath felt the same.' doctrines preached.”
How affectionate and judicious The bruised reed he will not break; an adviser he was to persons under and he will raise the smoking flax spiritual concern, the following let- to a flame. ter will show :
· My beloved brother, accept these lines from him who bears you much upon his heart. O may
God support you! Jesus comfort “ MY DEAR BROTHER, I am you! My feeble prayers shall not much concerned to hear of your be wanting. I doubt not but
you present distress; but I hope you shall shortly find all joy and peace will soon experience a truly happy in believing. Let me again entreat deliverance. I find you are fearful you to throw yourself at the feet of that you have committed the un- Jesus; apply to him, not as an pardonable sin :—if you had, de- enemy, bnt as a kind Friend and pend upon it, you would not be at tender Brother. all concerned about it. This is the
That you may be enabled to insinuation of the enemy of souls, view him in this amiable and enwho, for a while, is suffered to dearing light, is the hearty prayer buffet you ; but, remember for of. your comfort, he is a conquered “ Your real friend and affectionfoe, and cannot go beyond his chain. ate brother in our joint Mediator, I doubt not but you will shine
“T. Jones.' brighter for being in the furnace of
Epiphany, 1756.” affliction. In the mean time, do not entertain hard thoughts of On the children of his flock Mr. God, nor write bitter things against Jones bestowed considerable care. yourself,—your present distress is At the close of his expository lecan argument of the Redeemer's
tures on the Church Catechism, he love who scourgeth every son said to his hearers : “ Our Church whom he receiveth.'
requires that her ministers should I trust, the Lord is now puri. catechise and instruct the youth fying your spirit, and purging of their respective parishes every away your dross.
Oh, may this Lord's-day in the afternoon, but affliction have its perfect work! the constitution of this parish reJesus is emptying you from sin quiring two preaching ministers, and self, that you may be filled with the fulness of his righteous. * Evangelical Mag, for 1807, p. 256.
renders this impracticable : but as a Sermon at St. Bride's, before the this is a duty you all owe your several Associations of the laudable respective families, permit me to order of Anti-Gallicans, which he press it strongly. You will cer- afterwards published. It is foundtainly be accountable to God for ed on Joshua xxiii. 11–13, and every soul committed to your care. breathes a warm spirit of patriLet me then entreat you, for your otism. On the 24th November, in own sakes, as well as theirs, to the same year, he preached a Chabring them up in the nurture and rity Sermon, from Psalm xlvii. 9, admonition of the Lord : do not at the re-opening of the church of spend all your time and care in St. Botolph, Bishopsgate. This furnishing them with worldly wis
sermon gave great offence to the dom, (which, God knows, they will Rector, who, after it was over, soon learn,) and at the same time accused Mr. Jones, in a very extraleave their minds uncultivated. I ordinary manner, of having asserted am sensible it is my duty, as your many things he could not defend, minister, to go from house to house, and requested it might be published, and minister to the spiritual im- which was accordingly done. On provement of those who are com- Trinity Sunday, 1760, he delivered mitted to my charge. This too, in a Sermon at St. Ann's, Limehouse, so large a parish as this, (where on “the Good of Affliction,” (John there is so much other duty,) is in xvi. 33, latter clause,) which was a manner impossible. To remedy preached and printed pursuant to this inconvenience, I have the last will of Captain John Sibson, method to propose, and it is this : who had died in the preceding you who are desirous of having month; and in the following year your children instructed in the he preached a Sermon, on 2 Cor. things of God, are welcome to send v. 17, former clause, at St. Lawthem to me.
I hope you will not rence Jewry, before the Society for be displeased with the proposal, as promoting Religious Knowledge, my meaning is honest, and as I which was the last work he pubearnestly wish even your and their lished. While under the spiritual salvation. God knows my prayers anxiety before alluded to, he became for you are, that I may meet you acquainted with the Countess of all with joy at God's awful tribu- Huntingdon, most likely through nal. I will therefore set apart an the introduction of Mr. Romaine ; hour every Saturday in the after- and being afterwards on terms of noon, (for that I take to be the
great intimacy and friendship with most convenient time,
chil- her Ladyship, was greatly strengthdren are then absent from school,) ened and established in the faith of in order to instruct them, as well the Gospel by her advice and conas I am able, in the great truths of versation. This eminent lady was Christ's religion.”* Accordingly, accustomed to invite numbers of it was his custom to catechise the the nobility to hear the Gospel children, who came weekly to his preached in her drawing-room: and house for that purpose.
the weekly lecture which was there But though his labours were delivered, by various popular clerchiefly among his own parishioners, gymen, to a very polite circle, they were not entirely confined to was occasionally preached by Mr. them. On the 23rd April, 1754, Jones.t being St. George's day, he preached
of Life and Times of Countess of Hun* Works, p. 206.
tingdon, vol. 1. p. 133 and 135.