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III. — THE LAWYER - - - - 31 


V. — THE PREACHER - - - - 59 

VI. — THE SECRETARY - - - - 79 

VII. — THE AUTHOR - - - - 143 

Vm. — THE FATHER AND FRIEND - - - 187 

IX. — THE CLOSE OF LIFE - - - - 223 




' Howe'er it be, it seems to me, 
'Tis onl J noble to be good : 
Kind hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith, than Norman blood.' 

* The memoirs of oiir departed friends are valuable 
only as they contain a faithful record of their 
excellences and defects, and a full development 
of their opinions upon important pomts. An 
intimate acquaintance with a beloved friend may 
so enthrone him in our affections that there may 
be considerable danger of his excellences being 
too highly estimated, or of the blemishes of his 
character being unintentionally overlooked. A 





* Howe'er it be, it seems to me, 
'Tis only noble to be good : 
Kind hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith, than Norman blood/ 

* The memoirs of oiir departed friends are valuable 
only as they contain a faithful record of their 
excellences and defects, and a full development 
of their opinions upon important points. An 
intimate acquaintance with a beloved jEriend may 
so enthrone him in our affections that there may 
be considerable danger of his excellences being 
too highly estimated, or of the blemishes of his 
character being unintentionally overlooked, A 



partial or prejudiced statement, also, renders a 
memoir of little value to the reader who consults it 
either for information or for personal improve- 

It is now twenty years ago since the subject of 
this present memoir commenced with these senti- 
ments an account of the life and labours of his 
revered friend and pastor, the Eev. Rowland Hill. 
In his own case the opinions thus expressed have 
especial weight The task of presenting a sketch 
of his own life has devolved upon those over 
whose eyes filial affection may well be presumed 
to throw a veil, so that they may not be so 
discriminating as others with regard at least to 
the faults of a much-loved parent. It is fortu- 
nate, therefore, that, at the suggestion of some 
members of his family, he had been in the habit 
df committing to, writing from time to time the 
principal incidents in his life, and recording 
his impressions and opinions on points of the 
deepest interest. Written at intervals, snatched 
from the active pursuits of his busy life, and often 
during hours that ought to have been given to rest, 
the manuscript contains an unreserved expression 
of his inmost thoughts and feelings. Intending 
no stranger eye to peruse its pages, and bequeath- 
ing it as a precious legacy to his children, he tells 
them, with all the undisguised confidence of a 


loved and loving father, the tale of his life. Its 
opening sentences are a faithful index to the spirit 
in which it is written. *The history of most 
persons will furnish abundant evidence of the 
loving kindness and tender mercies of the Lord. 
I am sure this has been evident in my own case. 
I- wish to leave a few particulars of the way in 
which I have been led, not to promote personal 
vanity, but for the benefit and instruction of my 
children. Events may be interesting to them 
which will be altogether without interest to others. 
When I look back on the days that are past, how 
much cause have I for deep humility and fervent 
gratitude, — ^humility, when I remember the trou- 
bled waters through which in my childhood my 
beloved parents had to pass,— and gratitude, when 
I consider the marvellous way in which Grod in 
his providence interfered in my behalf, and all 
along has encompassed me with his mercies.' 

As far, therefore, as it is possible, the subject of 
this memoir shall be the expositor of his own 
opinions : — the narrative of a father's life shall be 
told in his own simple and truthful language. 

William Jones was bom at Battersea, in the 
neighbourhood of London, on the 15th day of April, 
1795, and was baptized at Clapham Church, on 
the 17 th of June following. His father was a 
native of Gloucestershire, his family being re- 







loved and loving father, the tale of his life. Its 
opening sentences are a faithful index to the spirit 
in which it is written. *The history of most 
persons will furnish abundant evidence of the 
loving kindness and tender mercies of the Lord. 
I am sure this has been evident in my own case. 
I- wish to leave a few particulars of the way in 
which I have been led, not to promote personal 
vanity, but for the benefit and instruction of my 
children. Events may be interesting to them 
which will be altogether without interest to others. 
When I look back on the days that are past, how 
much cause have I for ieep humility and fervent 
gratitude, — ^humility, when I remember the trou- 
bled waters through which in my childhood my 
beloved parents had to pass,— and gratitude, when 
I consider the marvellous way in which God in 
his providence interfered in my behalf, and all 
along has encompassed me with his mercies.' 

As fer, therefore, as it is possible, the subject of 
this memoir shall be the expositor of his own 
opinions : — the narrative of a father's life shall be 
told in his own simple and truthful language. 

William Jones was bom at Battersea, in the 
neighbourhood of London, on the 1 5th day of April, 
1795, and was baptized at Clapham Church, on 
the 17th of June following. His father was a 
native of Gloucestershire, his family being re- 



sidents in the vicinity of the Forest of Dean ; his 
mother was Mary Winkworth, one of the chil- 
dren of a worthy man, who resided in Lambeth, 
and realized some property. Of the days of his 
early childhood there are but few records left; 
hardly any that can have even a passing interest, 
except to the members of his own family. His 
parents, with the view to make better provision 
for their children, entered upon a business, and, 
for a time, were prosperous. But, though moral 
and upright, they had no real love for * the things 
belonging. to their peace.' Young as was their 
first-bom, and much loved and cherished by them 
both, they took not sufficient heed to keep him 
from the scenes of temptation. As yet they un- 
derstood not the duty of * training up their children 
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.' 

When he was but six years old, an incident 
occurred which had a material influence on the 
whole of his after-life. Returning with his 
father and a friend from a visit to the neigh- 
bourhood of Battersea, the carriage in which 
they were riding was accidentally overturned ; 
the driver running against a post at the comer of 
a lane leading into the high road. His father 
was seriously injured with a compound fracture 
of the right thigh. A long course of suffering 
ensued. For two years he was confined to his 


bed, and could only be moved by means of 
boards placed beneath him, and then lifted by 
powerful men. It is not difficult to foresee the 
result of so protracted an affliction. Borne down 
by the large expenses necessarily incident to his 
illness, and enduring repeated losses from in- 
ability to give personal attendance to the conduct 
of his business, he saw his means sadly dimi- 
nished. In fact, all that a family, now num- 
bering four children, had at last to depend on for 
their support, was derived from a portion of the 
rents of some houses in Lambeth, to which the 
mother was entitled jointly with a sister and 

The remarks contained in the record whence 
these particulars have been gleaned must not be 
omitted : — * Dark as the prospect seemed at first, 
yet it was one of great brightness in the issue. 
When I look back to this period of my life, now 
fifty years ago, I have indeed cause to say, 
" Surely all the ways of the Lord are mercy and 
truth; He leads his people by the only safe 
paths." That chamber of affliction was often the 
scene of much interest. My father passed his 
time in reading. His attention was directed to 
suitable books by my much-esteemed aunt, Mrs. 
limden, a pious and truly-devoted woman, the 
sister of my mother. Among the books that 


were read was " Doddridge's Eise and Progress of 
Eellgion in the Soul." 1 believe the work was 
useful to my father. He committed the prayers 
to memory, and frequently repeated them. Very 
often have I sat at my father's side in the 
evening, as he lay on his bed of affliction, and 
listened to his recital of such matters as he 
thought might aflford me interest or instruction, 
gathered from any book he might have been 

It will readily be conceived that, during this 
period of depression, there were but slender 
resources available for the purpose of education. 
This duty, however, was not entirely neglected. 
The firstborn, William, in whom, even at this 
early age, the hopes of his fond parents seem to 
have centred, was sent to a school in the neigh- 
bourhood, where he received the elements of an 
English education. The discipline of the school 
seems to have been one of great severity. The 
system of annual rewards was simple and eco- 
nomical. All the boys who had behaved well 
and attended to their duties were allowed once, 
during the summer, to walk with the master 
round his garden, look at the flowers, and pluck 
one for personal use and adornment. 

A year or two has passed away, and we find 
him, before he had completed his twelfth year, 


engaged as clerk in the office of Mr. Eogers, a 
young attorney, whose chambers were in Copthall- 
court, Thrograortonnstreet. His own reflections 
on this, his first situation in life, are too inte- 
resting to be omitted. — * I found my employer a 
tall man, but kind and gentle in his manners* 
He gained my confidence at our first interview. 
Nearly half a century has parsed away smce the 
day I entered on my new employment, but all 
the little circumstances of that memorable 
morning remain clearly and indelibly impressed 
on my mind. I had an office to myself. The 
effort to get on the high office-stool was rather a 
great one for such a stripling, and, when safely 
seated, I had some apprehension of the danger of 
being dethroned. My pen and ink, my paper- 
case, and all needful apparatus, were duly fur- 
nished, and then came my first paper to copy. 
It was a short decree of the Court of Chancery. 
The very formation of my first letters seems to 
come before me. The day passed happily, and 
no language can describe the scene when I 
arrived at home. With grateful interest my 
beloved parents listened to all my news, and I 
felt a thrill of joy at the thought of being able to 
procure for them some little additional comforts. 
Oh I we must pass through scenes of affliction to 
know the feelings that occupied our minds that 


night. The thick clouds were passing away — 
our path appeared to be bright and cheerful.' 

There were few incidents of interest in. the 
daily routine of the young lawyer's office. To 
him his new engagements affi)rded constant de- 
light, particularly the attendance at the Equity 
courts. He always listened with deep interest to 
* the calm, clear, and convincing judgments ' of 
Sir William Grant, the then Master of the Eolls. 
No doubt it was at this early period of his life 
that he laid the foundation of those habits of busi- 
ness, and of the power of forming correct and 
dispassionate judgments on all matters that were 
brought before him, that proved in after years so 
useful to himself and others. 

Better things, however, than merely temporal 
blessings were in God's providence in store for 
him. A variety of circumstances, each seem- 
ingly trifling in itself, gradually prepared him 
for an open confession of the Saviour before 
men. His aunt, Mrs. Limden, in repeated inter- 
views, sought to win his affections for heavenly 
things. Her conversation was good; she gave 
him a variety of suitable books,^ impressed on 
him the duty of regular attendance on the means 

* In a letter written about this time, he specifies * Janeway's 
Token for Children,' and * Baxter's Call to the ITnconyerted,* as 
haying left deep impressions on his mind. 


of grace, and to her efforts added her earnest 
prayers to God in behalf of her young and much 
loved nephew.^ Moreover the person who had 
charge of Mr. Eogers' offices was a godly woman, 
and her kind attentions to the comforts of the 
youth lent much weight to the few words which 
occasionally passed between them on subjects that 
had reference to his eternal welfare. More than 
all, she was the first to interest hin^ in those 
missionary efforts in which ever afterwards he 
took so much delight. 

*At this time,' he writes, *I was almost a 
stranger to the operations of our missionary socie- 
ties. Mrs. Blundell, our housekeeper, spoke to 
me about them, and informed me that one of the 
great sermons for missions was soon to be preached 
at the Tabernacle, in Moorfields. I determined 

* In a letter written in 1822, in which he mentions the recent 
decease of his mother, he alludes thus beautifully to his aunt : — 
* My beloved mother has entered into her rest. Her death was 
lingering ; but she was resigned to her heavenly Father's will, and 
has ascended, I doubt not, to his eternal throne. She was a silent 
Christian. She said little, but felt much. The poor body was 
well nigh worn out ; but a short time before she left it, she was 
enabled to bear her witness to the Saviour's mercy, and in the 
assurance (though not, perhaps, the full assurance) of hope, she 
entered into the presence of the Lord, Thus have I lost both my 
mothers — ^my aunt teas one ; she was the guide of my youth : she 
first directed my wandering steps heavenwards. God grant that I 
may meet her again in that blessed world into which she has 


to attend the service. I heard a powerful address 
by the Eev, Mr. Allen, of Exeter, from the text, 
" I will work, and who shall let it?" The whole 
sieene was new to me. It was the commencement 
of the interest which I had long felt for the 
spread of Christian truth throughout the world.' 

Another agency that he thankfully recognised 
as very useful to him was the example and coun- 
sel of a cousin, Mr» John Winkworth ; by him 
he was taken very frequently to hear the cele- 
brated, but somewhat eccentric, Mr. Huntingdon, 
of Providence Chapel. After attending service 
on the Sunday evenings the cousins were accus- 
tomed to walk together and talk over the subject 
of the sermons to wliich they had been listening. 
These conversations were not unprofitable, and 
though he never felt that he received lasting 
good from the ministrations of Mr. Huntingdon, 
yet the discussions to which they gave rise kept 
the truths of the Gospel prominently before his 
mind. He was moreover deeply impressed with 
the conviction that in all his intercourse with his 
cousin, and at this time it was frequent and inti- 
mate, the great desire of his l:elati^'e was to win 
him to a love of that Redeemer who alone could 
save his never-dying souL 

The most important fact, however, connected 
with his religious history remains to be recorded ; 


and here the subject of this memoir must speak 
for himself: — * In the year 1808 I was requested 
by a cousin of my mother's to go with her to 
Surrey Chapel to hear the Eev. Eowland Hill 
preach. How much depended on that invitation 1 
How great are the results which frequently follow 
from apparently insignificant causes. I went, 
and, I remember, obtained a seat in the north 
gallery. I have no recollection of the sermon* 
The only thing I remember was the large brass 
ring that was then suspended in the centre of 
the chapel, and I was occupied in ascertaining 
the number of candles the ring would hold. Still, 
though so careless a hearer at first, my visit to 
this honoured house of God led, with a few 
exceptions, to my regular attendance there. God 
be praised for the results ! " Of this Zion it shall 
be said, This and that man was born in her." 

' During my attendance at Surrey Chapel I 
was frequently alarmed by the discourses I heard, 
and led to reflect on the danger of an unrenewed 
state. The appeals of the Eev. Mr. Potter, one 
of the occasional preachers there, much affected 
me. I was continually under deep convictions 
of sin, though these solemn impressions died away, 
as soon as I was exposed again to the influence of 
worldly associations, v, 

* About the year 1812 1 was the subject of 


peculiar temptation. The faithful preaching of 
the Gospel became distasteful to me. I then 
thought that I would leave Surrey Chapel, and 
go to some place where the preaching was less 
alarming. I fixed on a church in the vicinity 
of my parents' residence in Westminster. I 
attended the service both morning and allemoon, 
and then prepared to spend the evening in «o- 
ealled innocent recreation. Here let me grate- 
fully, most gratefully, record the loving-kindness 
of the Lord. He did not Ibrsake me, though I 
intended to forsake Him. He led me by a right 
way, but I knew it not. He controlled me by 
his Spirit. I quitted my home for the first time 
to leave Surrey Chapel, not being willing again 
to attend an evening service there. I passed 
over Westminster Bridge, intending to go to 
Vauxhall. I walked on ; my mind was very 
unhappy ; and, instead of passing on to Vauxhall, 
I found myself almost involuntarily advancing 
towards Surrey Chapel. I felt constrained to 
enter. I determined to take a' seat close to the 
front door, that I might leave early. I foimd 
that the Eev. John Sibree, of Frome, was to 
preach. After prayer he rose. The thought 
at that moment entered my mind, ^' I would 
rather that he were about to close the service 
than to commence his sermon." Judge my sur- 


prise when the preacher began his discourse in 
these words : — " Perhaps there may be present 
to-night some person who has said to himself, ' I 
would rather hear the minister pronounce the 
benediction than give out his text/ " I was 
rivetted by the remark. I got further into the 
chapel, and am not aware that I ever had a 
temptation to leave the chapel afterwards. Surely 
this was " the Lord*s doing, and it is marvellous 
in our eyes." The preacher pulled his bow at a 
venture; perhaps he never thought of his fiirst 
words until he had pronounced his text — " A 
word spoken in season, how good it is." * ^ 

•At the commencement of the year 1812 he 
was invited to become a teacher in the Sunday- 
school connected with Surrey Chapel. This 
event was another link in that chain of provi- 
dential circumstances which led him so gradually 
to a complete dedication of self to that Lord who 
bought him with his own most precious blood. 
Employment in a Sunday-school withdrew the 
young inquirer Irom the society of the worldly, 
and introduced him to the friendship of those 
who were ' asking their way to Zion, with their 
faces thitherward.' At the time he entered the 
school it was in an interesting condition. Mr. 
Benjamin Neale, of St.. Paul's Churchyard, was 

* See Life of Rev. Rowland Hill, p. 122. 


its superintendent; and amongst the teachers 
were Major, afterwards Colonel, Handfield, of 
the Ordnance Department, and Mr. Frederick 
Smith, a solicitor. He was placed in charge of 
one of the lowest classes. He found the engage- 
ments of the school exceedingly valuable to him. 
Very frequently, however, the thought occurred 
to him, ' How can I teach others the truths I 
know so imperfectly myself?' It is not wonderful 
that in a heart so ready to receive the truth, the 
good seed of the word should by degrees ger- 
minate and bring forth fruit. One of the earliest 
results of his joining the Sunday-school was a 
willing determination to give up the pleasures of 
the world. Then his former companions were 
exchanged for the association of the people of 
God. Soon he found his highest, choicest, pri- 
vilege in that throne of grace which he had so 
frequently neglected. His Bible, hitherto but 
occasionally opened, he found an invaluable 
treasure-house of precious truth. The House of 
the Lord, which he had too often attended simply 
from a sense of duty, he felt to be that spot more 
especially brightened with the presence of his 
Saviour, where he would fain linger as though 
unwilling to leave the * gate of Heaven.' The 
scene before him was completely changed. *I 
trust,' he writes, ' that old things had passed 


away, and all things had become new. I could 
not, however, like some Christians, trace my 
change of heart from any particular period, or 
from any special discourse or event. A series of 
circumstances led me to the Lord. The books of 
a beloved aunt, — the faithful preaching of the 
word, — Christian association, — all contributed to 
produce the great change of being turned from 
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan 
unto God. Perhaps the best test of Christian 
character and sincerity is the fruit of a holy, 
devoted, and active life. ** By their fruits shall 
ye know them." ' 

Union with the Surrey Chapel school led him 
gradually to engage in public instructions. His 
first efforts were so discouraging, that in recall- 
ing them to his memory he often expressed his 
wonder that he ever overcame the difficulties 
connected with public speaking. He was accus- 
tomed to attend the writing class at the Surrey 
Chapel school on Thursday evenings. It was 
usual to close every meeting of the class with 
singing and prayer. On one occasion he was 
accidentally the only male teacher present; it 
accordingly devolved on him to dismiss the school 
in the usual manner. After detaining the chil- 
dren for some time, he went, at the request of 
the teacher of the girls, to the desk and gave out 


a hymn. He then attempted to offer prayer, but 
failed. He next endeavoured to repeat the Lord's 
Prayer, but could only remember a short portion 
of it, and was obliged to conclude in the utmost 
confusion. He resolved secretly never to make 
another effort in public. It was, indeed, an un- 
propitious beginning, and not a little singular 
when contrasted with that fluency of speech and 
ease of address for which in after years he was so 

By degrees he was persuaded to make another 
attempt to take some part in the school services. 
His first address to children was delivered at the 
Mint School in the Boroiigh; his second in 
Kent-street ; afterwards he appeared in his own 
school. His first address at Surrey Chapel school 
was from Genesis iii. 9, ' And the Lord God called 
unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou ?' 
With reference to the second of these engage- 
ments he says, * More than thirty years after my 
first appearance at Kent-street, Mr. West, the 
superintendent, told me that an old scholar, who 
had died in the faith and love of Jesus, had traced 
his first serious impressions to my early address. 
God gave power to what was delivered in much 
weakness and trembling. To Him be all the 
glory 1' 

The duties of the Sunday-school led him natu- 


rally enough to join the Sunday-school Union. 
He was soon appointed a member of the com- 
mittee, and attended its quarterly meetings, at 
which were discussed subjects connected with the 
well-being of Simday-schools. Here he was first 
introduced to his much-loved and valued friend 
William Freeman Lloyd, with whom he after- 
wards laboured for many years in the Tract 
Society. He was at one of the quarterly meet- 
ings held in Little Wild-street Chapel. The 
subject for discussion was, * The desirableness of 
rewarding the children in our schools.' He felt 
deeply interested in the question, and, under the 
excitement of the moment, rose to speak. The 
ch^rman's eye, however, had first rested on 
another, who rose at the same time, and he sat 
down, gratefiil for his escape, and wondering 
much at his temerity. The speech of his pre- 
decessor being ended, despite of his efforts to 
avoid being called upon, he was summoned 
by the chairman, Mr. Lloyd, to speak* He ex- 
plained his views briefly and simply, and from 
this time was emboldened to take part in the 

These were the commencing scenes of that 
public life for which Mr. William Jones was thus 
gradually, and by agencies at that time little ap- 


preciated as to their ultimate tendency, being 
prepared and fitted. It was at the Union meet- 
ings he first knew Mr. Lloyd ; through him he 
was first known to the committee of the Eeligious 
Tract Society ; and then follows the most im- 
portant engagement of his life. Our movements 
in life often turn upon apparently trifling circum- 
stances ; but all are under the direction of Him 
who is * wonderful in counsel and excellent in 

On the 1st day of June, 1812, it was his 
happy privilege to be admitted as a communicant 
at Surrey Chapel, under the pastoral care of his 
venerable friend, the Eev. Eowland Hill. Ac- 
cording to custom, he appeared at a church meet- 
ing held on a Monday evening, at which Mr. Hill 
presided. With much fear and trembling, the 
stripling, then but seventeen years old, rose to 
off*er liimself for admission as a communicant. A 
few characteristic but kind questions, on the 
reasons which led him to take this step, and on 
the leading doctrines of the gospel, were proposed 
to him. To these his replies were judged to be 
satisfactory ; and Mr. Hill, after another interview 
in private, felt justified in admitting him into 
Christian fellowship. From this moment com- 
menced that kind and fetherly interest which 


Mr. Hill always afterwards took in the welfare of 
the subject of this memoir, and which continuedj 
constant and unwavering, until the good pastor 
himself was called to a better, even an enduring 

This important step of self-dedication to the 
Saviour was in many respects very beneficial to 
him. Obedience to the Lord's command must 
soon be followed by much enjoyment of the 
Gospel. In a letter written about this time we 
find the following passage : — * Since my imion to 
the church my experience of Divine things has 
been changeable ; sometimes I have felt love to 
ray Eedeemer and delight in his work ; at other 
times I have been cold and lifeless in his service. 
I have often approached the table of the Lord 
with a heart full of deadness. I haVe felt the 
inward conflict, and cannot better describe the 
state of my mind than in the words of the Apostle, 
" I find then a law that when I would do good 
evil is present with me, for that which I do I 
allow not, for what I would, that do I not; but 
what I hate, that I do." And yet I hope I can 
say, " I delight in the law of God after the in- 
ward man." It is my desire to be made more 
holy, and to be daily conformed to the image of 
my dear Saviour.' 



This holy desire, aided as it was by constant 
and earnest prayer to Abnighty God, was abun- 
dantly fulfilled. Few were enabled, as this 
memoir will show, to bear throughout life a more 
unwavering testimony to * the truth as it is in 
Jesus,' or to adorn more consistently the * doctrine 
of God his Saviour in all things.' 

( 21 ) 



* I would sooner blow the trumpet of the everlasting 
Gospel, which proclaims mercy to a ruined world, than 
sound the archangel's trumpet which at the last day 
shall call the world to judgment.' 

We have reserved for a separate chapter, an ac- 
coiint of what we may call an epoch in the life 
of the subject of this memoir. Before he com- 
pleted his nineteenth year, he offered himself as 
a candidate for the honourable office of a mis- 
sionary to the heathen. Though the wishes of 
his heart were, for reasons which shall be pre- 
sently explained, overruled, yet he always looked 
back to this period of his life with much pleasure. 
Few have been enabled to see more completely, 
that it was because the Lord was fitting him for 
working in another portion of his vineyard, that 
He denied him the fulfilment of his early desire, 


to make known in distant lands ^ the unsearch-. 
able riches of Christ.' 

Mention has already been made of the impres- 
sion produced on his mind by attending services 
connected with the anniversary meetings of the 
London Missionary Society. His engagement at 
the Surrey Chapel Sunday-school, naturally 
brought him into connexion with many who took 
deep interest in the operations of the various 
religious institutions. By degrees he became 
connected with auxiliaries of the Bible, Mis- 
sionary, and Eeligious Tract Societies. He was 
a. member of the St. Saviour's Bible Association, 
and his first speech in public was delivered at 
one of its anniversary meetings. There are 
friends yet living who were present on the occa- 
sion, and who did not fail to discern, even in this 
his earliest effort, indications of that self-com- 
mand, ready utterance, and complete mastery of 
his subject, which enabled him, as a public 
speaker in after years, to gain the interest and 
attention of his audience. His second attempt 
was at the anniversary of the Sunday School 
Union, at the early meeting in May, at the City 
of London Tavern. 

Amongst his papers has been found a letter, 
addressed about this time to his aunt, Mrs. 
Limden, which shows the deep interest he felt in 


all the religious movements of the day. It must 
be remembered that it was written by a youth, 
as yet but eighteen years old. He says, — 

* I never spent a happier season in my life 
than I did at the Missionary meetings. I tho- 
roughly enjoyed the various services that were 
held, and when at the public meeting I heard 
the Missionary Eeport read, I felt that this was 
enough to animate the coldest heart. After the 
sermon, at Tottenham Court Chapel, which was 
preached on the same evening by the Eev. Mr. 
Fletcher, was over, Mr. Jackson, of Stockwell, 
took me and several others, one being a mis- 
sionary proceeding to Java (Oh! that I were 
going with him), to his father's residence, which 
is in the neighbourhood, and a very pleasant 
time I had, I assure you. The next day, I went 
to Spitalfields Church, where I heard an asto- 
nishing sermon from the Rev. Mr. Matthias, of 
Dublin. The Eev. Eowland Hill stood on the 
pulpit stairs, and had you seen him, you would 
have thought that the dear good man would have 
jumped into the pulpit, he was so delighted with 
the sermon. He told me on the preceding Sun- 
day what we might expect at the church, for he 
added, " I know what materials he is made of." 
On the following Sunday, he said to me, " I had 
hard work to keep from patting the preacher on 


the back." Oh I that the Lord would fill the 
forsaken churches with such men as Mr. Mat- 
thias.' He adds, * I have indeed, been pri- 
vileged to spend thus days of great joy. The 
spirit of liberality manifested by Christians at 
this jubilee was surprising ; all was harmony and 
love ; one mind, one spirit, one wish, seemed to 
possess all in every place I attended.' 

With such feelings it is not surprising that he 
should seek earnestly for an opportunity for 
engaging in the missionary work. After much 
prayerful consideration, he determined to offer 
himself as a candidate to the directors of the 
London Missionary Society. His parents con- 
stituted at this time the great difficulty in his 
way. They were now partially dependent on 
him, they felt the privilege of leaning on their 
eldest son, and would be most imwilling to con- 
sent to his leaving his native country even for the 
Saviour's cause. Their ovna minds at the time 
were not opposed to Christian truth, though as 
yiet their hearts did not seem * given fully to the 
Lord.' He thought it prudent at first to open 
his mind to his aunt, and to get her to commu- 
nicate his wishes to his parents. Li his letter to 
his aunt, after sketching the wretched state of 
the heathen world, he says: — *Can a Christian 
look on this scene without longing to be made an 


instrument in the hand of the Lord in turning 
these idolaters from darkness to light, and from 
the kingdom of Satan unto God ? Can he rest at 
ease in Zion and see so many souls perishing for 
lack of knowledge ? Oh I that the Lord would 
raise up more labourers in his vineyard, for truly 
" the harvest is great, but the labourers are few.** 
When I read the lives of Schwartz, Vander* 
kemp, Brainerd, Des-Ganges, and many othera, 
I long to join, with those who survive, in their 
toils and afflictions to soimd the trumpet of the 
everlasting Gospel, and make known the blessed 
news of Salvation. ♦ * * For a long time it 
has been the subject of my fervent prayers to the 
Almighty that I may be a missionary of the cross* 
I have implored the Lord to take away the desire 
if it arises from a wrong motive, but, if otherwise^ 
to increase it. Oh ! my dear aunt, I feel it an 
absolute duty that I should offer my services to 
the Missionary Society, but 1 cannot muster 
<5ourage to nifention the matter to my dear 
parents. I fear it will grieve them; and yet 
how can they scruple at my being engaged in so 
glorious an employment ? Really, I think, if I 
had fifty soMy I shc/uM rejoice to see them all 
engaged in the work of the Lord. How many 
youths are there who leave all to fight the battles 
of their king and country? Worldly parents 


surrender up their offspring, and shall professing 
Christians scruple at giving up their children to 
fight the battles of the King of kings against the 
great enemy of souls? Mr. Jay once said, " I 
would sooner blow the trumpet of the everlasting 
Gospel, which proclaims mercy to a ruined world, 
than sound the archangel's trumpet, which at the 
last day shall call the world to judgment." Oh! 
that this love for the Gospel were implanted in 
many breasts. I long to be among the poor 
heathen, and I hope I can say unto the Lord, 
" Here am I, send me." * « * 

*I cannot open my Bible without finding, 
almost on every page, a promise made by the 
Lord that his Gospel shall spread throughout the 
world. Who then would not rejoice in being 
made the happy instrument, under God, of 
bringing to pass, even in the smallest measure, 
the glorious purposes of his grace ? I long to be 
engaged in this sacred employment, in order that 
I may be made useful to poor paishing sinners. 
I have read and considered the trials a missionary 
must endure, and hope I could say in the thought 
of bearing all, and leaving all, " Not unto me, not 
unto me, Lord, but unto thy name be all the 
glory." How I long to be emancipated firom the 
concerns of the world, that I may be prepared for 
this blessed profession ! I know the work is aw- 


fully important ; it requires for its due fulfilment 
a mind wholly given to the Lord, and much cru- 
cified to the world ; but the Lord can make the 
weakest creatures the depositaries of the divine 
treasure, that the " excellency of the power may 
be of God, and not of us." ' 

His aunt did not succeed in obtaining the com- 
pliance of his parents with his wishes. Indeed, 
they were most unwilling; but it appeared to 
him to be his duty still to go forward, that he 
might ascertain the will of God. He accordiugly 
requested an interview with the Eev. Thomas 
Jackson, of Stockwell, one of the directors of the 
London Missionary Society. An interview was 
readily granted ; and after a lengthened conver- 
sation, on the subject of the missionary work 
generally, and of the motives that led him to the 
desire to be engaged in it, Mr. Jackson requested 
him to make a formal application, by means of a 
letter addressed to himself, to the directors of 
the London Missionary Society. * I wish you,' 
were Mr. Jackson's words, * now that I have had 
this friendly conversation with you, to write to 
me, stating the reasons you have for believing 
that the Lord has called you; your motives for 
wishing to be engaged in the missionary cause ; 
and, more especially, your ideas with reference to 
the duties of one who is sent as a missionary to 


the heathen. Write to me freely, and without 
fear— just as you would to an intimate friend 
who takes much interest in your present wishes. 
Lay open to me the feelings of your heart. At 
the next meeting of the directors I will communi- 
cate to them the subject of the letter.' 

Thus encouraged, William Jones wrote fully 
to Mr. Jackson on the various points he had 
suggested. The result was, that he was invited in 
the month of September, 1813, to meet the com- 
mittee of examiners of the London Missionary 
Society, at Mr. Hardcastle's office^ 9, Old Swan 
Stairs, Thames-street. * I attended the appoint- 
ment,' he writes, * with much fear and anxiety. 
There were sev^al directors present. Among 
them were Dr. Waugh, Mr. Matthew Wilks, the 
present Dr. Liefchild, and Mrv Burder. The 
examination was rather long, and had reference 
to my own religious character, my views of the 
doctrines of the Gospel, and my motives for wish- 
ing to engage in the missionary work. At the 
close of the examination 1 retired, when the 
directors appointed Mr* Jackson to call on my 
parents, and to endeavour to obtain their consent. 

* Mr. Jackson soon after had an interview with 
my parents, but did 'not succeed in his mission. 
I understood him to say that my father spoke in 
strong terms : " K it be necessary for me to sign 


my consent to my son's going out as a missionaiy, 
I would more willingly place my hand on a 
block, and lose it, than comply with your 

* I was summoned to a subsequent meeting of 
the directors. Dr. Waugh was in the chair. 
His conduct was touchingly kind. He said to 
me, "My dear lad, we cannot accept you as 
a missionary — ^your parents will not give their 
consent. We are quite satisfied with your 
examination, but we don't think you are quite 
strong enough just yet to jump over the fifth 

* Thus ended this anxious matter. I am per-» 
fectly persuaded that I was prevented by the 
good providence of God fix)m embarking in the 
great enterprise. The Lord, perhaps, had other 
work for me to do, I have always been glad 
that I offered myself to the work; and whei^ 
I have looked at the little counting-house of Mr. 
Hardcastle from London Bridge (the place has 
long since been removed), I fully enter into the 
beautiful description given of it by my late 
friend, Mr, Townsend, of Bermondsey : — 

* " I sparcely ever pass over London Bridge 
without glancing my eye towards those highly- 
favoured rooms appertaining to Mr. Hardcastle's 
counting-house, at the Old Swan Stairs, and feel- 


ing a glow of pleasure at the recollection that there, 
the London Missionary Society, the Eeligious 
Tract Society, and the Hibernian Society, formed 
those plans of usefulness on which Divine Provi- 
dence has so signally smiled. This pleasure is 
greatly heightened when I also recollect that in 
those favoured rooms was brought forth that 
gigantic agent of moral and spiritual good, the 
British and Foreign Bible Society. Those rooms, 
in my judgment, are second to none but those in 
which the disciples met after their Lord's ascen- 
sion, and from whence they went forth to en- 
lighten and bless a dark and guilty world." ' 

( 31 ; 



* If on our daily course our mind 
Be set to hallow all we find, 

New treasures still of countless price 
God will provide for sacrifice. 

* The trivial round, the common task. 
Would furnish all we ought to ask ; 
Room to deny ourselves ; a road 

To bring us, daily, nearer God. 

The appointment of the subject of this memoir 
to the office of clerk to Mr. Eogers, an attorney, 
has been noticed in a previous chapter. For 
three years he continued to fulfil the duties of 
this situation with satisfaction to his employer 
and happiness to himself. At the end of that 
time Mr. Eogers thought it desirable to obtain a 
partnership in a respectable and established 
practice. He was directed to a Mr. Thomas 
Mason, and with him he formed a partnership. 


and took his young clerk with him to his new 
scene of occupation. Their offices were in Foster- 
lane, Cheapside. There was a want of con- 
geniality of disposition between the partners 
which wa3 a bar to harmony of feeUng, and, as a 
natural consequence, there was need of much 
forbearance on the part of those placed under 
them, Mr, W. Jones' time, therefore, passed 
heavily away, and the licentiousness of some of 
the clerks, whose conversation was most corrupt- 
ing, was among the trials which he was called to 
bear. Still, by God's grace, he was stedfast to 
the profession which he had made, of his deter- 
mination to live as one who had been redeemed 
with the pregious blood of the Saviour. He 
commonly took his meals at rooms in the im- 
mediate vicinity of Paternoster-row, and during 
the period allowed for dinner, was aociistomed to 
re^ useful and religious works. How little 
probability did there seem at this time of his 
eventually occupying the large adjoining pre- 
mises as Superintendent of the Religious Tract 

The decease of Mr. Eogers in February 1812, 
caused a change in his prospects and plans. He 
determined no longer to continue with Mr. 
Mason. He mentioned his intention to his aimt, 
and through her obtained a letter of introduction 


to Messrs. Baker and Dimond, respectable solici- 
tors in Bedford-place. They had no vacancy 
among their clerks, but directed him to apply to 
Messrs. Dawson and Wratislaw, of Saville-place, 
New Burlington-street. To his great joy, he 
was received by them into their establishment. 
The remuneration was left entirely to them^ 
and its amount was arranged to be settled 
after he had been a short time in their employ- 

The entrance on the duties of his new situiation 
was a deeply interesting era in his life. His 
stipend was twice as much as he had been 
accustomed to receive, and grateful indeed did 
he feel that now he would be enabled to procure 
additional comforts for his beloved parents. The 
business was a large one, emplojring no less than 
twenty clerks. Here again his religious prin- 
ciples were put to a severe test. Though he had 
not to complain of the gross licentiousness which 
he was compelled to endure in hfs former office 
on the part of his fellow-clerks, yet he did not 
find even one here who had any real love for the 
things of eternity. It was, to say the least, a 
perilous position, morally considered, for a youth 
of seventeen. The Lord, however, preserved 
him from falling into temptation. His progress 
in the offic6 was rapid. He was soon placed 



under the Common Law Clerk, aiid,^ when the 
latter left the office to commence business for 
himself, Mr. W. Jones succeeded to the vacant 
post. It was an anxious and laborious position. 
IJe often remained at business till after the 
mi(inight hour; and at other times took his 
papers hprae, and was at work upon them for 
a large portion of the night. 

He began now to feel keenly the disadvantages 
under which he laboured for want of a more 
e^^tensive education than the circumstances of his 
parents, as has been already narrated, enabled 
them to bestow on him. He felt it his duty, 
therefore, to improve hirpself as far as he could. 
He read pauch at every available opportunity, 
though, from w$int of a guide, much of his labour 
was comparatively useless. 

That good providence of God which hitherto 
had so wonderfully been manifested towards 
him, was never more clearly exhibited than at 
this eventful Crisis in his life. Here, as in all 
other cases, when God designs any important 
work to be accomplished by any of his servants, 
he fits them for the task by ways and means that 
to us often appear unaccountable and strange. 
By an incident, which we might almost call 
romantic, the very need felt by the subject of 
this memoir was supplied, and those educational 


advantages aflforded which enabled him after- 
wards to occupy that responsible position which he 
held for so many years in connexion with the 
Eeligions Tract Society. 

The incident shall be related in his own words. 
* About this time (when he was eighteen years 
old) a peculiarly interesting circumstance oc- 
curred, which brought me into contact with a 
remarkable man in whom knowledge and folly 
were singularly blended. He however was a 
most valuable guide to me ; and for the kind 
interest he took in my welfare, I shall, till the 
close of my life, feel truly grateful. 

*In our office we had commenced an action 
against a Mr. R — , who had been a schoolmaster 
at Dulwich. He had spent a considerable for- 
tune, and eventually became a prisoner for debt 
in the King's Bench Prison in St. George's 
Fields. I was instructed by my employer to 
lodge a detainer against him, which I did by 
leaving the needful process with the marshal of 
the prison. Having done my duty, it occurred 
to me that it would be courteous to go into the 
prison and tell the poor defendant what I had 
done. Little was I aware of th^ custom of the 
prisoners. When they caught the attorney, or his 
clerk, within the walls, especially if he had been 



severe in his practice, they did him the honour 
of plunging him into the water. 

' Where ignorance is bliss, 
*Tis folly to be wise,' 

I therefore went in, and found out my prisoner. 
On entering his room, I saw a gentleman-like 
man dressed in black, with a cork leg. He was 
rather short in stature, and marked with small- 
pox. He received me with politeness, and in- 
quired my business. 

* " Sir, I have just lodged a detainer against 
you at the suit of Messrs. M — of Cockspur- 

* ** Indeed, sir, you are a very polite young 
gentleman to bring me tliis news. After being 
in this wretched place for a long time, I hoped 
to leave in the morning; but now you have 
detained me. Well, you have only done your 
duty. I thank you for your call." 

* In a moment I saw my mistake, and was re- 
tiring in sad confusion. Instantly his manner 
changed — ^he became kindness embodied. He 
inquired all about my present position and future 
prospects, what my early advantages had been in 
the way of education, what course of reading I 
was now pursuing. He took deep interest in 
my answers to his questions, and at once ex* 


pressed his willingness to give me assistance in 
my studies, Sever can I eflPace from my memory 
that remarkable interview. The very man whose 
liberty I had been in some degree the means of 
abridging, was raised up to me by the God of 
Providence as a friend and instructor. 

* From this time I was a constant visitor to my 
friend at his rooms in the prison. He gave me 
regular instruction, and many valuable lessons on 
many subjects. He guided me in my reading, 
and with his help I made some progress in several 
important branches of study. In mathematics 
his assistance was peculiarly valuable to me. I 
remember well how he advised me to abridge 
Blackstone's Commentaries, and pointed out the 
plan I ought to pursue* He urged me to make 
some important practical law subject my constant 
study ; and afterwards bring out, under the care 
of a judicious friend, a small book, which, if suc- 
cessful, might make my way in the profession. 
He gave me much information about the public 
men of the day, both statesmen and ministers of 
the Gospel. He mimicked their manner and 
style with great accuracy ; so much so, that the 
first time I saw Dr. CoUyer in the pulpit, I at 
once knew the man, though a stranger to him 
before, fix)m the correct imitation I had previously 
listened to from Mr. R — . The attainments of 


my friend were very great. He was master of 
several languages, he wrote a beautiful hand, he 
was a good singer, an excellent speaker, a fair 
draughtsman. He once remarked to me,' "I 
think I have all senses but common sense ; this 
last, had I possessed, it might perhaps have kept 
me out of a prison." 

* How wonderful are the ways of God ! Who 
could have imagined that the visit of an attorney's 
clerk to lodge a detainer against a prisoner would 
have been connected with such interesting and 
important results. After a long period, Mr. 
E — was liberated from prison. He went, I be- 
lieve, to the West Indies ; but I have not heard 
of him for many years.' 

The position Mr. W. Jones now held intro- 
duced him to many pleasing scenes, and brought 
him, more than once, into connexion with some 
of the leading men of the day. His employers 
numbered among their clients many of the 
nobility. Whilst in this office, moreover, he 
had his first knowledge of political life. The 
firm were engaged in several contested elections, 
as the agents of various candidates who aspired to 
the honour of a seat in parliament. Of an elec- 
tion for Sussex, Mr. W. Jones makes particular 
mention in the memoranda he has left behind 
him. He found the scenes through which he was 


called to pass during the election campaigns sadly 
distasteful to his feelings. His religious prin- 
ciples were again put to a severe test, and now 
more than ever he had to learn that difficult 
lesson, that a disciple of Christ Jesus, though in 
the world, is not to be <>f the world. 

It was just before this contest for Sussex that 
Mr.'W. Jones made his fearliest visit to Hastings. 
Indeed it was his first visit to any place more 
than five miles from London. * The day of my 
departure from home,' he writes, ' was indeed a 
high day. My prudent and loving father gave 
me many words of counsel. All was new to me. 
The first thatched cottage, covered with its beau- 
tiful net-work of roses and honeysuckle, was a 
picture I never before had witnessed. The 
world appeared very large to me. Charmed^ 
indeed, was I when I arrived safely in the town 
of Hastings, with its neighbourhood so full of 
natural beauties and interesting historical asso- 

* I had, however, other reasons for remember*- 
ing my first visit to Hastings, inasmuch as I was 
here preserved from great danger by the good 
providence of GoA 1 was walking on a 
cliff towards Lover's Seat, and observed a 
stile before me. Full of spirits I ran and 
jumped over it. When it was too late, I found 


that beyond the stile the ground went rapidly 
and steeply down ta the edge of the cliff. I had 
presence of mind to throw myself down on my 
breast. I kept sliding down, but, at length, a 
small projecting stone caught my waistcoat and 
stopped me. After some time I crawled to a 
spot of safety, taking the stone of mercy with 
me. How often have we to raise our Ebenezer 
as we pass through the world, and to write there- 
on, *' Hitherto the Lord hath helped me." ' 

He continued for several yeara in the oflSce of 
Messrs. Dawson and Wratislaw, discharging con- 
scientiously and happily the responsible duties 
with which he was intrusted. The sudden 
decease of the latter partner, in the year 1819, 
caused considerable changes, the senior clerk 
being taken into partnership. Shortly after- 
wards, two of the gentlemen who had been 
articled in the office determined to commence 
business themselves. Overtures were made by 
Messrs. Fuller and Saltwell, the gentlemen alluded 
to, to Mr. W. Jones, which resulted in his join- 
ing them at their new office in Carlton Chambers, 
in the capacity of managing clerk. The rest is 
briefly told : — pleased with the services rendered, 
and in part as an acknowledgment of the busi- 
ness brought by him to the office, Mr. Fuller 
placed him at length in the position of an articled 


pupil, and enabled him to obtain his certificate 
as an attomey-at-law. From these gentlemen he 
ever received the most considerate kindness, and 
he worked happily with them imtil, in the year 
1824, he accepted the invitation of the committee 
of the Eeligious Tract Society to become per- 
manently connected with that institution. 

Mr. W. Jones, till the close of life, though his 
engagement with the Eeligious Tract Society 
prevented him from practising in his profession, 
always took out his attorney's certificate. He 
felt that, by exempting him from all parochial 
offices, juries, and other similar engagements, it 
enabled him always to discharge, without inter- 
ruption, his home and country engagements. 
His legal knowledge, moreover, wfts, it is be- 
lieved, often useful in some of the business 
arrangements of the Tract Society. 

( 42 ) 



' Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot. 
And cut up all my follies by the root, 
I never trusted in an arm but thine, 
Nor hoped but in thy righteousness divine : 
My prayers and alttis, imperfect and defiled, 
Were but the feeble efforts of a child ; 
Howe'er performed, it was their brightest part, 
That they proceeded from a grateful heart : 
Cleansied in thine own all-purifying blood, 
Forgive their evil, and accept their good : 
I cast them at thy feet — ^my only plea 
Is what it was — dependence upon Thee.' 

The directors of the London Missionary Society 
having deemed it right to discourage Mr. W. 
Jones's wishes for employment in the holy work 
of Christian Missions, his mind appears to have 
been increasingly impressed with the importance 
of additional eflPorts to be useful at home. His 
labours in the Surrey Chapel Sunday-school were 
regular, and he was frequently called upon to 


deliver the address to ' the children. His ability 
as a public speaker was soon discovered by his 
friends, and many of them urged him to extend 
his public efforts. His first attempts as an 
expounder of Divine truth were in but a lowly 
character. His earliest lecture was delivered at 
a cottage in Windmill-lane, a district near the 
present Clapham Park. It was on the 9th 
January, 1814, from the words *' And the door 
was shut" From a memorandum made on the 
occasion it appears that he was called on unex- 
pectedly to deliver the address, which was, conse- 
quently, strictly extemporaneous. Very ♦ fre- 
quently afterwards he visited the cottage, when 
the labours of the Sunday-school were over. 
The toil was considerable, as he had at least 
eight miles to walk. * On one occasion,' he 
writes, * the night was wet and dark. I reached 
the cottage with much difficulty, the road being 
exceedingly bad. I had a slip into a siding, 
which made me sadly wet. On reaching the 
cottage only <me person was present, shortly after- 
wards two others came in. I was hurt at the 
indifference of the cottagers, and determined to 
leave, fearing that I should take cold.' At the 
moment when I contemplated retiring, I thought 
of One who tarried and preached to one woman 
at the well of Samaria. The servant ought not 


to be greater than his Lord. I, therefore, re- 
mained standing on a sack, while my shoes were 
being dried at a neighbouring cottage. The 
attendance was small, but to me at least the 
season was very far from an unhappy one.' 

Soon after this occurrence he was invited by 
the Eev. Elisha Newth, then assistant minister 
at Surrey Chapel, to spend a Sunday at Kingston. 
He consented, after some hesitation, to preach 
during the day at three places of worship in the 
neighbourhood of Kingston. 

* I Well remember the day,' he writes : — 
* I rose very early, and my excellent mother met 
me at breakfast, and gave me her blessing before 

1 started. I walked to Kingston, about ten 
miles, and was there received by Mr. Eanyard, 
a pious tradesman, with great kindness. In the 
morning I went to Hampton, and preached from 

2 Samuel vii. 14, 15. — *' I will be his father 
and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, 
I will chasten him with the rod of men, and the 
stripes of the children of men ; but my mercy shall 
not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, 
whom I put away before thee." Just as I began 
my sermon a gentleman dressed in black entered 
the chapel, and, thinking he was a minister, I 
got sadly confused and forgot much of my subject. 
I was too proud to use notes, and needed such a 


lesson of humiKty. At the close of the brief 
service, I determined never again to undertake 
similar engagements should I mercifully get 
through the day. 

* In the afternoon I preached at Claygate, 
about six miles from Kingston, from 1 Cor. iv. 20. 
— " The kingdom of God is not in word, but in 
power." I was more collected at this service. 
In the evening I appeared once more at Hampton 
with much fear and trembling. My subject was 
Bomans iii. 23. — " All have sinned, and come 
short of the glory of God." About 160 people 
were presents I hope I was more humble than 
in the morning, and my mind was happy.' * ♦ ♦ 

* This was the commencement of labours in 
the holy work of preaching the Gospel, which I 
remember with joy and pain. How unworthy 
are my poor addresses to the great and good 
work ! Little did I expect to what an extent 
these imperfect efforts would be carried in after 
years. I hope that the bread I was permitted to 
cast upon the waters, has been found again after 
many days. Some facts have come to light, but 
I leave all such statements with the Lord. He 
has been a kind Master to me.' 

- Li the year 1815, incidents occurred with 
reference to Surrey Chapel Sunday-school, of 
which he was now acknowledged to be a diligent 


and efficieut teacher, which marked another 
epoch in his life, Mr. Benjamin Neale was 
compeUed, through serious indisposition, to 
retire from the oflSce of superintendent of the 
schooL He had been a most devoted man, and 
well qualified to impart instruction to the youthful 
mind. The children loved him, and promptly 
attended to his wishes. The teachers also loved 
him, and, therefore, cheerfully carried out his 
plans for the benefit of the school. To an 
enquiry once made of him, how he was able 
to exercise so complete a control over them, he 
made this truly wise reply, * I rule, but I never 
show my sceptre.' 

A meeting was held for the purpose of making 
an appointment to the office of superintendent. 
After long and anxious discussion, a joint super- 
intendency was suggested and approved by the 
teachers. The choice, most imexpectedly to 
himself, fell on Mr. W. Jones, who was requested 
to undertake the office jointly with Mr. Dyson. 
After some consideration, he accepted the offered 
post. With reference to this occurrence, the 
following entry appears in his private papers : — 
* Can I let this event pass without comment ? I 
am sxirprised at the leadings of a gracious Provi- 
dence. I only entered the school in April 1812, 
feeling myself unworthy to be a teacher even of 


the lowest class, and now, at the age of twenty, I 
find myself raised to the principal office 1 Oh, 
that I may be kept fix)m pride and self-sufficiency ! 
May I be able to rule both the teachers and 
children by the law of kindness ! May grace be 
given to me in every time of need, and may the 
weakest creature be supported by Almighty 
Power r 

The decision of the teachers was justified by 
the result. The school continued to prosper. 
Various facts came to light of an encouraging 
character. One poor girl, who had been expelled 
for bad conduct, was afterwards led to repentance 
by an address delivered by Mr. W. Jones, on the 
death of her sister. Another child in the school 
traced, as she acknowledged in after life, her first 
solemn impressions to an address delivered by 
him from the words, ' Wilt thou not from this 
time cry unto me, My Father, thou art 
the guide of my youth?* Various indirect 
benefits were reported. No less than fifteen years 
after he left the school, he received a kind letter 
from an old scholar, who traced to an address 
fix)m the words, ' Search the Scriptures,* the com- 
mencement of a habit of daily perusing the Word 
of God, which had led in his own case to the most 
happy results. * When I was a scholar,' he writes 
in 1838, to Mr. W. Jones, • in Surrey Chapel 


Sunday-school, I once heard you deliver an 
address from the words, ** Search the Scriptures, 
for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and 
they are they which testify of me." In con- 
cluding, you said, " Now if you forget all else 
that I have said, do not forget this — * Search the 
Scriptures."* I have forgotten all else, but, 
through the grace of God, the Holy Scriptures 
have been my study and delight, and the more I 
study them, the deeper gratitude do I feel to 
those kind friends who first taught me to love 
those words of eternal life.' 

He had been superintendent of the school for 
about eighteen months, when he contemplated an 
interesting change in his condition of life. A 
mutual attachment was formed between him- 
self and Miss Cooper, an attendant at Surrey 
Chapel, and an active teacher in the Sunday- 
schooL The friendship was not hastily formed, 
and turned out for the happiness of both parties. 
They were married at the parish church of 
St. Mary, Lambeth, on the 22nd August 1816. 
It was the commencement of a union unbroken 
for well nigh forty years. Eight children, in the 
course of years, were bom to them, three of whom 
were called before their affectionate father to a 
better world. Itappy in each other's love, sharing 
willingly each other's trials, and for the welfare of 


thieir beloved children enduring at times mucli 
voluntary self-denial, there was a harmcaiy and 
bliss in their wedded life such as falls to the lot 
of but few. He himself, more than once towards 
the close of his days, expressed himself with 
gratitude when he looked back on the past, and 
reflected how much domestic happiness he had 
enjoyed. ' We have passed through,' he said on 
one occasion, * many trying scenes, and yet, when 
we think how great our comforts have been, we 
may well deem our troubles to have been light. 
After all, there has been so much sunshine that I 
seem almost to forget the dark and cloudy days.' 
His widow still survives him, * sorrowing, not 
without hope/ for the loss of one whose tender 
love well repaid the affectionate and unweaxying 
attentions she was enabled to render him, even 
till that moment when his gentle spirit breathed 
itself into the arms of his Saviour, and looking in 
humble faith to a blessed reunion in the cloudless 
land with those she so loved on. earth.. 

* Tis sweet as year by year we lose 
Friends oat of sight, by faith to muse 
How gi'ows in Paradise our store.' 

The position which Mr. W. Jones occupied at 
Surrey Chapel school, naturally brought him into 
connexion with the Rev. Rowland Hill, who now 
took a very lively interest in his welfare, and, to 



the end of his life, behaved to him with unvary- 
ing kindness* This venerable man, whose labours 
as an itinerant preacher, and whose opinions as to 
the duty of every one, who had received a gift, 
using the same for the promotion of the cause of 
Christ, are very well known, naturally enough 
encouraged his young friend to persevere in the 
course on which he had entered, as an occasional 
preacher of God's word. Mr. W. Jones' own 
opinions on the necessity of lay agency, as an 
auxiliary means for the propagation of God's 
truth, and the importance of setting aside the 
strict rules of discipline for the attainment of this 
end, were clear and decided. Thus, in his Life 
of the Rev. Rowland Hill, after giving an account 
of the sentiments of his beloved minister on these 
points, he adds, ' It is to be feared that the reli- 
gious wants of the people never will be supplied, 
until ministers of all denominations consider souls 
of more value than the regulations of their 
churches. ... It must be admitted, that 
the ordinary means of grace are not suiEcient to 
meet the spiritual necessities of the people. Our 
country will not be evangelized until the Church- 
man leaves *' the beautiful house " where he 
worships, and the Nonconformist his humble 
meeting-place, and the more experienced and 
talented of the pastors shall practically attend to 


the directions of their exalted Sayiour, " Go out 
quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, into 
the highways and hedges, and bring in hither the 
poor and the maimed, and the halt and the blind ; 
and compel them to come in, that my house may 
be filled." These words are still addressed to the 
faithful ambassador of Christ, who is qualified for 
the work, and hears the call of Providence to 
attend to it ; and if the powers that be, should 
command such ministers not to speak at all, nor 
teach in the name of Jesus, what, — according to 
the clearly established custom of Christ and his 
apostles, — what is the right course ior them to 
pursue ? Should they not answer with Peter and 
John, " Whether it be right in the sight of God 
to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge 
ye. For we cannot but speak the things which 
we have seen and heard." ' * 

Actuated by such views, and urged on by such 
encouragements, Mr. W. Jones began now to take 
part in some public services on almost every 
Lord's day, sometimes conducting them in cot- 
tages, often in small chapels in tlie villages in the 
immediate vicinity of London, and ultimately in 
some important places of worship in the metro- 
polis itself It will be well to reserve for a 
separate chapter, an account of his labours in the 

♦ Life of Rev. Rowland Hill, pp. 168-172. 



pulpit, which are known by many to have been 
attended with much benefit to some of his hearers. 
The fact of his being constantly employed in this 
manner on the Sundays, is only mentioned here, 
in order to explain precisely the reason of his 
taking a step with reference to the Sunday- 
school, after he had filled the office of superin- 
tendent for seven years. 

The step above alluded to, and the considera- 
tions which impressed him with the necessity of 
taking it, are well expressed in the subjoined 
letter, which, at the commencement of the year 
1823, he wrote to the teachers of Surrey Chapel 

* It is now seven years, my dear friends, since 
you called me to the office of Superintendent of 
the Surrey Chapel Sunday-school. I have dis- 
charged my duties, I fear, feebly, but I trust I 
may say, with sincerity, and with an anxious desire 
for the prosperity of our institution. My earnest 
endeavour has been to promote the comfort of 
the teachers, and, as far as my influence ex- 
tended, that spirit of affectionate and consistent 
union which has so long marked the character of 
all engaged in the school. 

* You will not, I hope, charge me with aflfec- 
tation, when I assure you, that I still feel the 
warmest interest in the school, and that nothing 


but an imperative sense, of duty will lead me to 
dissolve my connexion with it. For a consi- 
derable time past, my engagements of the Sab- 
bath day have caused me to be frequently absent 
fi'om my post, and I much fear lest my example 
may prove prejudicial, and that others may justify 
the laxity of their attendance by a reference to 
my own. The knowledge I have of the teachers, 
might perchance check the probability of such an 
excuse being pleaded, yet I think I should not be 
justified even in risking such a reference to my 
own example, as might seem to account for, 
though it never could justify, the absence of 

* I wish to be silent on the nature of those 
engagements which to my own mind justify the 
course I have taken. I know that the Divine 
blessing has accompanied the feeblest eflforts to 
advance the Saviour's cause, and hence I cannot 
persuade myself to relinquish the opportunities 
which are now so constantiy afforded me of 
preaching to sinners " the unsearchable riches of 

* Allow me, therefore, with sentiments of sin- 
cere regard for you all, to tender my resignation 
as your Superintendent. In the course I am 
taking I am consulting, not my own feelings, but 
the prosperity of the schools, which is with me a 


paramount consideration. I shall be happy to 
continue with you as a teacher, and shall ever 
consider it a privilege to help you, as far as other 
duties will allow, in carrying out the high and 
holy objects of the institution. 

* Permit me, my dear friends, to " conmiend 
you to God, and to the word of his grace," and 
to assure you that my earnest desire is that you 
may be '* stedfast, unmoveable, always abound- 
ing in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye 
know that your labour is not in vain in the 
Lord." ' 

This communication was received most kindly 
by the teachers. A request was made that the 
resignation be withdrawn, and that he would 
render the best services he could to the school. 
Anxious to meet the views of the teachers he 
consented to their wishes. In a few months, 
however, his public engagements so increased, 
that he was able to give less attention than ever 
to the school, and he felt quite convinced that a 
regard for its best interests called for his retire- 
ment. He again, therefore, wrote to the 
teachers, repeated his former reasons, which, he 
added, ' the experience of the last seven months, 
during which I have been almost constantly from 
necessity absent from the school, has shown to be 
well founded ; ' and expressed his full conviction 


that the school could never be * well regulated, or 
properly conducted, unless the Superintendent 
Was able to devote his undivided attention to 
its interests/ His last words of counsel to 
his fellow-labourers were full of beauty and 
wisdom, and may well be treasured up by all 
who are engaged in the holy work of training 
the young in the * nurture and admonition of 
the Lord/ 

* In retiring,' he writes, * from the office of 
your Superintendent, I feel much happiness in 
the thought that I leave you a imited body. 
Beware, my beloved friends, of divisions ; guard 
your minds against every unchristian feeling; 
and strive by every means, and even by personal 
sacrifices, to " maintain the unity of the Spirit in 
the bond of peace." Without a spiritual union 
amongst yourselves, the glory will depart from 
your school, for where there is strife and confu- 
sion the Holy Spirit is grieved, and his Divine 
influence will be withheld. Though you are 
many members, yet you are one body ; let a spirit 
of harmony, therefore, show itself in all your 
plans, and let it be evident to every one that you 
are tenderly alive to the true interests of all com- 
mitted to your charge. 

* Hitherto, my dear friends, you have main- 
tained your Christian character ; you stand high 


in the estimation of those who 'know you, and 
have witnessed your labours. Pray for grace, 
that you may continue holy and consistent 
teachers. Never forget that you will cease to do 
good to the children, unless you, as ** children 
of the light," reflect upon them some few beams 
of the Redeemer's gloiy. Be anxious for the 
prosperity of your work, and by your punctual, 
diligent, and persevering attention, let it be seen 
that you are " not weary in well-doing." 

* Strive to manifest at all times a spirit suitable 
to your important work ; especially to be humble. 
Do not let one teacher think of himself more 
highly than he ought to think, but let him think 
soberly. "Let love be without dissimulation." 
" Be kindly affectioned one towards another, in 
honour preferring one another." In your conduct 
towards the children, study to imitate the ex- 
ample of your Divine Master ; let sympathy for 
them call forth a spirit of patient forbearance; 
be gentle among them ; "cherish them, even as 
a nurse cherisheth her children, so being affec- 
tionately desirous of their souls." 

* One word more. Let me strongly recommend 
you to keep up with regularity your meetings for 
prayer. Prayer moves the hand of Him who 
moves all things. Great success cannot be hoped 
for without a diligent discharge of this our 


highest earthly privilege. With it, it were sinful 
to doubt the fulfilment of the promise. " Ask, 
and ye shall have ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, 
and it shall be opened unto you." ' 

Soon after the receipt of this letter, the teachers 
piresented Mr. W. Jones with a valuable edition 
of * Scott's Commentary on the Holy Scripture.' 
* as a mark of their afiectionate regard, and a 
small but sincere token of the high sense they 
entertained of his services.' This work he 
greatly valued. Shortly after the admission of 
his youngest son to holy orders, in the year 1852, 
he presented the work to him, 'believing that 
it would be a safe guide to him in the study of 
the Divine word.' 

Thus ended Mr. Jones' official connexion with 
Surrey Chapel school. The twelve years spent 
in its service were among the happy ones of life. 
Certainly they were amongst the most eventful ; 
and very often, in maturer years, would he look 
back with much gratitude at this period, as that 
in which, more particularly, he could discern the 
hand of Providence, leading him by a way that 
he knew not, and fitting him for that important 
position in the religious world which he was after- 
wards to fill. Through the remainder of his life 
Sunday schools were ever his delight. * Some of 
my most happy Sundays whilst travelling for the 


Tract Society/ he writes, * were spent in visiting 
some of the large Sunday schools in the north of 
England. At Leeds, Preston, and Blackburn, I 
have several times had the privilege of addressing 
large numbers of children. May the " seed cast 
into the ground " be " found after many days !' 

r»> » 

( 59 ) 



' how my soule desires to haue a seate 
in that sweete quire that shee may sing thy praise ; 
and magnifie Thee for thy mercies great, 
that mee from death to life yoachsafst to raise. 
Lord, since to mee such fauor hath ben showne, 
by mee let thy sweete mercy bee made knowne.* 

A REFERENCE has been made in the preceding 
chapter to Mr. W. Jones' first efforts to do good by 
taking part in public services at different places 
of worship. When, at the solicitation of friends, 
he first undertook such engagements, he had but 
little idea to what extent his efforts would, in 
after years, be continued. The reminiscences 
connected with these labours as a preacher of God's 
word, which were far more frequent than is gene- 
rally imagined by his friends, were very pleasing 
to him. It has been thought well to . group 


together into one chapter facts connected with 
them, that have come to the knowledge of the 
compiler of this memoir. Though by so doing we 
may anticipate the counse of the narrative, it will 
be interesting to contemplate, as a whole, one 
phase in Mr. W. Jones' useful and varied life. 

His servicer, as has been already noticed, were 
at the first confined to the smaller places of 
worship in the villages in the suburbs of London. 
Afterwards he was invited to fill the pulpits of 
some more important places during the temporary 
absence of the respective ministers. At Bat- 
tersea, Putney, Union-street Southwark, Wands- 
worth, Ponder's End, and the Adelphi Chapel in 
the Strand, he was frequently called upon for 
such help. Indeed, among his earliest efforts 
were the sermons preached for his valued friend, 
the Rev. Joseph Hughes, the highly esteemed 
Secretary of the Bible Society, During his fre- 
quent tours his pulpit was supplied by Mr. W. 
Jones. With reference to these engagements, he 
writes : ' These were happy seasons for me. 
Battersea was, indeed, an interesting spot for me. 
The chapel was close to the place of my birth, 
and within five minutes walk of the scene where 
my father met with his serious accident, an event 
in God's mercy greatly overruled to me for good. 
How little could it be imagined at one time that 


t should ever become one of the officers of the 
Tract Society, with the good pastor of the Bap- 
tist Chapel. When the Lord has a work to be 
performed, he soon raises up the needful instru- 
ments/ Mr. Hughes, in 1821, presented him 
with some elegantly bound volumes, ' Bumside, 
on the Religion of Mankind/ as an acknowledg- 
ment of kind services, which were much appre- 
ciated by those who had listened to his teaching. 

The town of Hitchin was also the scene of 
some of his early labours at the chapel of his 
esteemed friend, the Rev. Charles Sloper. He 
says, with reference to this place of worship : — 
*I can recall many hallowed seasons; I hope 
they were useful. It was in connexion with 
this place that I was present at the first service 
in a bam in the village of Shillington, near 
Hitchin. It was a singular scene. Mr. Sloper 
hired the bam, and had an interview with the 
rector of the parish, who was also a magistrate. 
He told him he intended to open the barn for 
preaching, and claimed his protection against the 
violent conduct he expected from some of the 
labouring men. The rector kindly assured him 
that he might depend on his enforcing the law 
against all who violated the rights of toleration 
On the Sabbath evening we reached the spot. 
All was commotion in the village. No sooner 


had we entered the bam than one gush of wind 
extinguished all the lights — a few only could be 
re-lighted. **Can you preach in the dark?" 
asked Mr. Sloper. I replied that I would endea- 
vour to do so. He then addressed the people, 
explained the law for the protection of dissenting 
worship, told them of his interview with the 
rector, and assured them that any one who at- 
tempted to interrupt the service would be taken 
before the magistrate. We sang, prayed, and 
preached in the dark. All went off quietly, but 
not having such iron nerves as my good friend, I 
must own I was glad when it was over. After 
the service, a poor man came to me with the big 
tear in his eye, and said, ** I remember many 
years ago, when a gentleman came from Hitchin 
to preach the Gospel, I was one that disturbed 
the worship, and made an attempt to throw the 
preacher into the pond at the end of the village." 
Now the bold opponent was a gentle follower of 
the Lamb, and thanked us gratefully for our 
visit. What doth God effect by his Spirit I '* 

1 In a letter written at the time to his old and valued friend, 
Mr. H. Hadland, he thus describes this adventure: — * Yesterday 
evening (Sept. 22, 1822) I went to Shillington, a village six miles 
distant from this place (Hitchin), and preached in an old bam to 
upwards of 300 poor country people. Oh I 'twas a lovely sight ! 
I was perched on a stool, crammed in by the people, and felt great 
delight in preaching from those words, "There is joy in the 


At Putney his labours in the pulpit seem to 
have been very acceptable, for in the year 1822 
a unanimous invitation was forwarded to him, 
from the congregation assembling in the Inde- 
pendent chapel, to accept the pastoral office. 
He prayerfully considered this invitation, and, 
after conferring with the Eev. Eowland Hill and 
other friends on the subject, felt that it was his 
duty at once to decline the wishes of his friends. 
' Feeling,' he says, in his reply to them, * the 
great importance of such an engagement, I hope 
I have given the matter that due consideration 
which it demanded, and have sought counsel of 
Him who alone can qualify his servants for minisr 
terial usefulness. My own venerable and be- 
loved pastor has kindly and fully advised me on 
all the points that 1 submitted to him. In addi- 
tion to this, I have received the counsel of other 
ministerial friends; and their views concurring 
with my own, leave no doubt as to my duty in 
declining your affectionate invitation. 
It is very desirable that a pastor should reside in 

presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.** I 
never preached to a mor^ attentive auditory ; and I am to enjoy the 
privilege of preaching to the people again next Sabbath evening. 
... I should like you to have seen- me on my perch. The bam 
would not hold all the people ; many were in the adjoining house, 
and others standing against the churchyard wall. Oh I the un- 
speakable privilege of preaching the Gospel of Christ !' 


the midst of his people. He should be of ready 
access, since in the present condition of your 
cause much would depend in reviving the cause 
of pure and undefiled religion, under the Divine 
blessing, on his friendly and pastoral visits. My 
present engagements would quite prevent my 
thus giving myself up entirely to the work of the 
ministry among you, and therefore, my duty is 
clear in this matter. My prayer is that the Lord 
may send you a pastor "according to his own 
heart," who will " feed you with knowledge and 
imderstanding." ' 

Some few years after he spent a Sunday at 
Gloucester, and preached in the Independent 
chapel. An impression was made by his ad- 
dresses, and a strong wish expressed that he 
should become the successor to their l^te minister, 
the Eev. W. Bishop. He was, however, fully 
persuaded that Re had been guided by the pro- 
vidence of God to his present position in the 
Jleligious Tract Society, and felt it right at 
once to decline an appointment incompatible 
with a due fulfilment of its duties. In his reply 
he expresses his hope that * they may be guided 
by the Great Head of the Church to a suitable 
pastor, and one who in all respects will efficiently 
represent their religious body in the peculiarly 
important sphere of his labours.' 


Chatham was also the scene of many happy 
reminiscences in connexion with the congre- 
gation of his friend, the Rev. Joseph Slatterie. 
Here he formed several friendships which 
were a source of much comfort to him. His 
ministrations appear to have been useful, and 
he highly prized the warm friendship of Mr. 
Slatterie. His recollections of the close of that 
good man's life are deeply interesting. * I 
visited him,' he writes, * on several occasions 
during the closing days of his life. It was a 
painful scene to me ; his strong mind had given 
way, and he was almost imbecile. There were 
some few seasons when reason appeared to rally 
for a short time. On one occasion I stood by his 
couch. I took his hand, but he seemed quite 
unconscious. After a little while I found he 
pressed my hand. I felt he knew me, and 
inquired who I was. The dear old man smiled, 
and said, ** If any one meets you and says you 
are not Jones of Surrey Chapel, don't believe 
it." On another occasion when I called he was 
on the sofa, playing with the button of his coat. 
He took no notice of me. His daughter 
whispered to me to ask him about Jesus, I asked 
him if the Saviour was precious to him. At once 
his eye brightened, and he repeated with an 
emphasis that I shall never forget: — 


' Dear Name^ the Rock on which I build. 
My Shield, and Hiding-place ; 
My never-failing Treasury fill'd 
With boundless stores of grace. 

' Jesus, my Shepherd, Husband, Friend, 
My Prophet, Priest, and King, 
My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, 
Accept the praise I bring.' 

How delightful the thought that often the name 
of the Saviour has influenced the believing soul 
when it has been dead to all other subjects. Deaf 
to all sounds, even of earthly affection, it hears 
quickly the sound of the name of " Him who loved 
us and gave Himself for us*" So it was with my 
ever-valued friend ; however lost he appeared to 
be, he could soon hear the voice of the Eedeemer. 
When Jesus said unto his disciple •' Mary," she 
said unto him " Eabboni." ' 

Surrey Chapel was also the scene of Mr. 
W. Jones' labours, particularly during the closing 
years of the life of his revered pastor, the Eev. 
Eowland Hill. It may readily be imagined that 
it was with peculiar feelings that he first occupied 
the pulpit of that chapel, his accidental attendance 
at which, some twenty years before, had led, in 
the providence of God, to such important results. 
More than once he felt almost unwillingness to 
comply with Mr. Hill's wishes, and expressed his 
feelings on the subject to the venerable man. 


Not only did he feel to a certaiii extent embar- 
rassed at first in addressing those with whom he 
had so long worshipped, as * one of themselves,' 
but he knew also the objections entertained by 
Mr. Hill, as a general rule, against admitting 
laymen into his pulpit. The good pastor at once 
overruled all his objections, and assured him that 
he considered that * if a man had the grace of 
God in his heart, and a wise tongue in his head, 
he had a full commission to bring all the sinners 
he could to Christ.' ' One of his earliest sermons 
at Surrey Chapel was preached from the text, 
* Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither 
shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the 

* * Rowland Hill r^oioed in the labours of his lay-brethren, 
provided ihey were prudent and modest in their conduct. Occa- 
sionally he would admit them into his own pulpit; and when 
unable to carry the elements round the table on a communion 
Sabbath, he more than once requested a lay-brother ** to lend him 
his legs for a short season.** ... It is, however, nght to remark, 
that Mr. Hill would only sanction the preaching of laymen whose 
characters were unexceptionally good, and whose "talents were 
likely to be useful. He was not anxious tp press them forward to 
the pulpit, but rejoiced to hear of their efforts in the Sabbath- 
schools, the villages, and the workhouses of our land. He had 
frequent applications from young men who were anxious to enter 
the ministerial office, or engage in missionary labour. But he was 
very careful not to take them from their worldly occupations unless 
he could discover the clear leadings <^ the providence of God, and 
acceptable talents in the applicants.' — Life of Rev. Rowland Hill, 
pp. 428,429, 



olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat ; 
the flock shall be cut oflT from the fold, and there 
shall be no herd in the stalls ; yet will I rejoice 
in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salva- 
tion.' (Hab. iii. 17.) At times he was called to 
fill the pulpit of Surrey Chapel at a very short 
notice. He resided in the immediate vicinity of 
that place of worship, and frequently a message 
would come, within an hour of the time of com- 
mencing service, requesting him to preach. In- 
deed, sometimes less notice than even this was 
given him. Many, without doubt, can recollect 
how, more than once, when the prayers were 
well nigh ended, the vestry door would open, and 
Mr. Hill's servant glide almost noiselessly round 
to the little pew on the north side, just under the 
gallery, and, gently tapping him on the shoulder, 
would summon him to take the place of his ven- 
erable minister. After a time, he always came 
prepared for such unexpected calls, with sermon 
notes in his pocket. On one occasion, however, 
shortly before Mr. Hill's decease, he was placed 
in circumstances of some embarrassment. * Mr. 
Hill,* he says, * was much depressed, and sent for 
me to come and sit with him. After dining with 
him, I rose to take my leave, but he was unwil- 
ling that I should ga I took tea. He was still 
very much depressed. After a pause, he said, 


" I cannot preach this evening, you must help 
me." I replied that I was not prepared. No 
excuse, however, would do, and most reluctantly 
I obeyed his wishes. The subject on which I 
preached was, '* Surely the bitterness of death i9 
passed." (1 Sam. xv. 32.) The venerable man 
met me in the vestry at the close of the service, 
and, taking me kindly by the hand, said, " Thank 
you, my dear friend. After all, the apostle tells 
us that the last enemy that shall be destroyed is 
death. It is never pleasant to meet an enemy. 
Still, though an enemy, death is a conquered 
one to the believer." ' ^ 

Soon after the settlement of the Eev. James 
Sherman as minister of Surrey Cliapel, he thought 
it would materially help him, and advance the 
good cause, if Mr. W, Jones would accept the 
office of assistant minister, and made proposals to 
that effect. It was thought that these duties 
could be discharged without the necessity of his 
retiring from the Eeligious Tract Society. He, 
himself, judged otherwise, and, feeling persuaded 
that the duties of the two offices would clash, at 
once declined the invitation. 

In connexion with Dr. Fletcher's chapel at 
Stepney, he was once placed in very embarrass- 
ing circumstances. Mr. Hill had promised to 

» Life of Rev. Rowland Hill, p. 590. 


preach there on a Sunday evening. He was 
taken unwell, and afraid that he should not be 
able to fulfil his engagement. Dr. Fletcher con* 
sented to preach at Surrey Chapel, provided his 
* wn pulpit could be supplied in the afternoon^ 
Mr. W. Jones was requested to render this as- 
sistance, and to be prepared also, in the event of 
Mr. Hill's inability to fulfil his promise for the 
evening, to take the place of the venerable man. 

* No sooner did I get to the chapel,' he says, 

* than my diflSctdties began. When waiting in 
the vestry, the door opened, and in walked Mr. 
George Bennet, who had recently returned from 
his missionary tour. He told me he was anxious 
to hear his old friend Dr. Fletcher. I told him 
he would be disappointed. Soon afterwards, 
came in my old and esteemed friend, Mr. George 
Eawson, of Leeds. No sooner did I see him, than 
I recollected that I had preached the sermon I 
had selected for the afternoon, at Leeds, when he 
was present. It was not till almost the last mo- 
ment before commencing evening service, that 
Mr. Hill arrived. I was much relieved at the 
sight of the good old man. Instantly, however, 
he said, " I am so ill, I cannot preach ; my dear 
friend will supply my place." I was fairly em- 
barrassed. I pressed him to make the effort to 
preach himself. After a great deal of coaxing 


we got him into the pulpit, and my anxieties 
were over.' 

The variety of character he met with in his 
Sunday engagements, was of course, very great. 
One or two interesting facts,^ selected from Hs 
own papers, will no doubt be interesting to many 
who peruse these pages. They shall be narrated 
in his own words : — 

* I preached at Fulwood, near Taunton, having 
been staying at the hospitable mansion of Mrs. 
A^elman. I occupied the pulpit in the morning, 
when the venerable Mrs. Eebecca Welman was 
present. She had been long deaf, and Mr, 
Golding, the pastor, preached in a low voice. I 
preached from the words, *' He loved me, and 
gave Himself for me." On returning home, Mrs. 
Welman was full of joy. She had heard the 
sermon, not having heard one distinctly for a long 
time. The subject had much cheered her. 
Among other things she told me that when cast 
down she was often much comforted by the 
text, ** He hath ascended up on high, He hath 
led captivity captive. He hath received gifts for 
men, yea for the rebellious also." " Ah I" said 
the good lady, "I know I am one of his rebel- 
lious children, but He hath received gifts for 


< On one occasion I reached a town in Com- 


wall on a Saturday evening. I called on the 
Independent minister. He was surprised to see 
me, having written to me, saying, that no meet- 
ing in behalf of the Tract Society could be held 
in his town. I told him that I was travelling 
through the country, and had determined to 

spend the sabbath quietly at . " I am 

imable," he replied, " to show you any atten- 
tion to-night, having two germons to prepare 
for the sabbath.'* " Can I help you?" I in- 
quired. " Do you preach V* " Sometimes." 
** Then I will ask you to take my morning 
sermon, and I shall be able, in that case, to go 
out with you fo^ a little time." The good man 
thought that perhaps it might yet be possible to 
get up a meeting for the Tract Society on the 
Monday evening. I preached accordingly in the 
morning ; my subject was taken from Judges xiii. 
22, 23, the language of Manoah to his wife. One 
of the practical lessons deduced was, " The advan- 
tage of Christit.n fellowship:" — when Manoah 
was cast down his wife suggested sources of 
consolation, and this she could not have done 
had she not been a believer herself. Hence 
I dwelt very strongly on the duty of "marry- 
ing only in the Lord." The minister was evi- 
dently much affected. I was a stranger to all 
circumstances connected with his history, indeed 


I had never seen him till the previous evening. 
Subsequently, I ascertained that he had contracted 
an unhappy marriage, which had materiaUy 
weakened his influence with his people. "Who 
told you all about our minister?" was the inquiry 
made of me afterwards. I assured all that I had 
no information respecting him. The sermon was 
a word in season, and the good minister himself, 
confident that I was a stranger to his domestic 
circumstances, remained ever afterwards a kind 
and attached friend. 

* It was my privilege to occupy many of the 
pulpits in Lancashire, and among them those 
connected with Darwen. The people were in* 
telligent, but exceedingly unpolished ; you must 
know them well in order to esteem them. One 
Sunday I was to preach at the chapel on the 
Hill, then under the pastoral care of Mr. NichoUs. 
On entering the pulpit I fbimd that the pew- 
opener had omitted to provide me either with a 
Bible or Hymn-book. I endeavoured to catch 
the eye of the negligent official, but in vain. 
One of the congregation observed me and called 
out in a loud voice, — " John, felly (i.e, fellow) 
in pulpit wants ye," and so my wants were 
supplied, not, I must own, without a strong 
effort on my part to suppress a smile at the 
dignified way in which my firiend spoke of me. 


In the evening I preached in the town chapel, 
of which the Eev, Eichaid Fletcher was the 
minister, I was waiting in the vestry expecting 
his arrivaL At last one of the deacons came in 
and said, " I say, Sir, how long are you going to 
stay here ?" I told him until the minister arrived, 
but that I was quite ready to enter the pulpit if 
he wished it. " You may do [what you like," 
was the rough and not very polite reply. Just 
as I was ascending the stairs the worthy official 
beckoned to me to stop a moment, and leaning 
over from his pew, whispered rather loudly, 
" You must cut it short, sir, or leete (light) will 
be out." It was the close of the summer, and 
the ordinary Hghts had not been prepared. I 
must acknowledge that at first I was a little dis- 
couraged by the rough manners of the good 
people. I soon learnt, however, that under a 
seemingly harsh exterior, there was hidden much 
sincerity and real kindness of heart. No where 
have I spent happier seasons, formed warmer 
friendships, or, by God's blessing, met with 
greater success, than in the north of England. 

* On another occasion, when preaching in a 
village chapel, in Essex, I spoke from the words, 
" Hast thou faith?" The next morning I was 
sent on my journey by a friend, and the driver 
of the carriage was a poor man who had been one 


of my hearers on the preceding day. He was an 
original character. When he got a little way 
into the country, he enquired if I objected to his 
driving without his hat and jacket, and then pro- 
ceeded straightway to put them under the seat. 
He soon referred to the sermon. I found he was 
constitutionally desponding, though a good man. 
We had much profitable conversation together, 
and I was pleased with many of his remarks. 
One I shall never forget. I spoke of the day 
when we should stand before the throne of God. 
In a loud voice, trembling with emotion, he said, 
" Oh! Mr. Jones, stand before the throne, I 
never wish that ; — a poor sinner like me can only 
wish to Ue before the throne for ever/' This 
was truly eloquent, and displayed the deep 
humility of the man : — of " such is the kingdom 
of heaven."* 

Sometimes Mr. Jones found himself in peculiar 
circmnstances in connexion with the Established 
Church. In his journeys through the country, 
he was often received at the houses of various 
(clergymen, and among his days of true peaceful 
enjoyments he never failed to include his 
* sabbaths at the country parsonage.' Though 
unable to help his clerical Mends in the pulpit, 
and many of them did not fail to express their 
regret at not being, able to avail themselves of 


his assistance, he sometimes held Sunday evening 
meetings in their school-rooms. On such occasions 
he did not take a text, but spoke on some im- 
portant subject Indeed, it is known to his 
femily that efforts were made at one time to 
induce him to give himself up entirely to the 
ministry of the Church of England. They pro- 
ceeded from an estimable clergyman, whom he 
numbered amongst his most valued friends, and 
who had good reason for knowing that, in the 
event of his acceding to his wishes, he might 
have without much difficulty obtained episcopal 
ordination. A strong feeling that he had been 
called by the providence of God to the post which 
he occupied, and that it would be impossible 
properly to discharge increased responsibility, led 
him to decline all the suggestions of his friends. 
Though not ordained to * minister in holy things,' 
he still felt it to be a privilege to assist, in how- 
ever humble or subordinate a character, in the 
services of the Sanctuary. * It is a source of 
delight to me,' he says, ' to be reckoned amongst 
" the hewers of wood and drawers of water." 
The various services in which I have in the 
course of nearly forty years, and in no less than 
260 distinct places of worship, been engaged, 
have been, I am well aware, attended with 
much, very much infirmity. I hope I desired 


to glorify God in the conversion of sinners, and 
my comfort has been to know that the treasure of 
the Gospel is placed in earthern vessels, that the 
excellency of the power may be of God, and not 
of us.' 

A few words may here be appropriately added 
on Mr. Jones' character as a preacher, and the 
general style of his pulpit addresses. 

It will not be difficult to describe the character 
of his discourses. In their doctrine they were 
simple and affectionate exhibitions of the * truth as 
it is in Jesus.' In this mamier they were admir- 
able comments on the apostolic precept * Speak- 
ing the truth in love.' He aimed at the heart 
rather than the head, the affections rather than 
the intellect, and sought to bring his hearers to 
the Saviour, by a declaration of the Saviour's 
love. He attempted no great things, he cared 
not to be indulging in novelties either of doctrine 
or interpretation, but sought to woo the sinner 
into acquiescence by the compulsion of love. 
* God is love,' — * The love of Christ constraineth 
us,' — * If God so loved us we ought also to love 
one another,' — such texts ^ as these were the 
index to his teaching, the one centre, as it were, 
to which all his efforts converged. With con- 
siderable command of language, and an easy and 
attractive delivery, there was a chastened earnest- 


ness in his manner, that carried the conviction to 
tlie hearts of all who listened to him that he desired 
their spiritual good. He spake as one who was 
himself no stranger to the blessings of which he 
would fain that others should be also the recipients, 
— as an Andrew, wishing to bring his brother to 
Jesus. And when he warned the sinner, and 
spoke of the punishments due to sin, he still 
spoke with gentleness. A Barnabas, and not a 
Boanerges, he looked for the Lord rather in ' the 
still small voice,' than in the wind and earth- 
quake. Never was there a better illustration 
than in his teaching of the truthful remark of an 
excellent man, with which we may appropriately 
close this chapter: — * Tender seriousness, — the 
index of a heart touched with the melting sym- 
pathies of Christ, — best becomes us as guilty 
sinners speaking to our fellow-sinners. Love is 
the life, power, soul and spirit of pulpit eloquence ; 
entreating rather than denouncing, the character 
of a preacher's office ; and it is the delivery of 
our Master's message with the looks and language 
of his own manifested tenderness, that attracts 
and triumphs over the hearts of a willing people.' 

( 79 ) 



* Rays from the Sun of righteousness 
Our humble missiles dart ; 
Mighty at once to wound and bless, 
To break and bend the heart.' 

* Next to the conversion of my soul by the power 
of the Holy Spirit^ I consider my connexion with 
the Eeligious Tract Society as perhaps the most 
important event in my life. It is not for me to 
tell what the results may have been, or yet may 
be, but yet I know from his own word that it 
pleases God by the weak things of the world to 
accomplish his designs of mercy and grace.' 

In such terms does Mr. W. Jones write con- 
cerning the Society with which his name will 
long be identified. We have amongst his papers 
a narrative of the circumstances which led to his 
first connexion with it, and of his earliest labours 


in its cause. As his first journey led to a result 
in his own case, at the time but little expected, 
we will give a somewhat detailed account of it. 

* In the year 1820,' he writes, * my friend Mr.. 
J. Davis was requested by the Committee of the 
Eeligious Tract Society, to obtain the services of 
two gentlemen, who might, in company with 
himself, visit the north of England and Scotland, 
and advocate the claims of the Institution. He 
was good enough to ask me to become one of the 
members of the deputation. The Eev. Mr. Mather, 
of Sheffield, promised to give us his assistance. 

* We left London by the mail for Sheffield at 
eight o'clock one evening, and reached our des- 
tination on the following evening at half-past six. 
This was thought tolerably good travelling thirty- 
five years ago, but a wonderful contrast to the 
railroad progress of these times. 

* Immediately on the arrival of the mail, Mr. 
Mather met us, and I had to preach at once at 
the Baptist Chapel, though somewhat fatigued by 
my twenty-two hours' journey. My text was 
taken from Heb. iv. 16, ** Let us therefore come 
boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain 
mercy, and find grace to help in every time of 
need." I briefly explained the objects of the 
Society in the course of my address. 

* A few days afterwards I had the high gratifi- 


cation of being introduced to Mr. Montgomery, 
the poet, and to his friend Mr. George Bennet, 
who subsequently visited the stations of the 
London Missionary Society, in different parts of 
the world. Very pleasant are ray recollections of 
my first interviews with these good men. I had 
much conversation with Mr. Montgomery. Cow- 
per appeared to be his favourite christian poet. 
I remember asking him how he could account for 
a man of Cowper's seriousness and constitutional 
lowness of mind, writing "John Gilpin." He 
told me that he had no diflGlculty on the point. 
He remembered that his own lightest pieces were 
written when he was a prisoner jin York Castle, 
and during a season of much mental depression. 
In such seasons, the mind usually made the 
greatest efforts for its own relief. So it was with 
Cowper when he wrote the sprightly and amusing 
piece I had named. 

' Meetings were held at Sheffield and Eother- 
ham: at the latter place a new Society was 
formed. On the Sunday, at Sheffield, I preached 
in the morning for Mr. Mather, from Eev. xxii. 1, 
'* And he showed me a pure river of water of life, 
clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of 
God and of the Lamb." In the afternoon I 
assisted the Eev. James Boden, and preached from 
Gal. vi. 14, "God forbid that I should glory 


82 THE secretary: 

save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Clirist, by 
whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto 
the world." In the evening it was my privilege 
to address the Sunday-school teachers. 

*At Huddersfield I saw the venerable Mr. 
Mearhouse, an old Yorkshire evangelist, and 
Dr. Boothroyd, the commentator. At Bradford 
a Society was formed, and I made the acquaint- 
ance of Dr. Steadman, the president of the Baptist 
College, and of the Eev. William Morgan, the in- 
cumbent of Christchurch. 

> * On the 7th of September I paid my first visit 
to Leeds. I reached this place at midnight. 
Here I had my first interview with Mr. George 
Eawson ^ and Mr. John Clapham, two of the most 

' In a letter addressed to the eompiler of this Memoir, dated 
Jaly 1855, Mr. Rawson thus speaks of this first visit of Mr. 
W. Jones to Leeds. * When he visited Leeds as the deputation 
of the parent Society, a new impulse was given to our operations. 
His interesting details, his truly catholic spirit, and his sound 
judgment secured at once the deepest interests and the cordial 
co-operation of every section of the church of Christ. Our 
Institution flourished, and in addition to a large outlay in tracts, 
our annual free contribution amounted to 100^., for the general 
objects of the parent Society. I am confident that the Leeds 
auxiliary was greatly indebted to your valued and beloved father 
for its manifest prosperity.' He adds, with reference to his visits 
in after years, and the services and meetings held in connexion 
with the Society. — ' These returning seasons of fellowship were 
deemed by many Christian friends the most interesting services 
of the year, and were attended with many blessings to all who 
participated in them.' 


zealous supporters of the Tract Society I ever met 
with. They still live, and at the end of thirty- 
five years axe as warmly attached as ever to 
our good cause. The town of Leeds gave Mr. 
Hardcastle to the London Missionary Society, 
and good Joseph Eeyner to the Eeligious Tract 

* There are few towns that have more interest- 
ing associations in my mind than Leeds. The 
friendships I formed have been lasting. The uni- 
form kindness of the various ministers, I shall 
never forget. They kindly admitted me into 
their pulpits to plead the Society's cause, and 
did indeed, for the sake of the great objects in 
which he was interested, " condescend to a 
brother of low degree." 

' Leeds was always a scene of active effort for 
the agent of the Tract Society. The following 
is a tolerably correct programme of his proceed- 
ings: — On the Saturday evening he met the 
Committee of the Society to make all arrange- 
ments for the anniversary. On the Sunday 
morning, at nine, he delivered an address at one 
of the schools ; at half-past ten, he preached at 
one of the chapels, or gave a detail of the Society's 
operations after the minister's discourse. In the 
afternoon he met a female class. In the evening 
he usually preached at another chapel. On the 



Monday morning, there was held a public break- 
fast at eight ; this was followed by a large dinner 
party at three, and a public meeting in the 
evening at six. It was really rather hard work, 
but some of my happiest seasons have been spent 
at Leeds, and I hope much good was done. 

*The deputation visited in order Harrogate, 
Eipon, Knaresborough, Northallerton, Durham, 
and Newcastle-on-Tyne.^ In this last-mentioned 
place, I was introduced to my much-valued friend 
Mr. John Fenwick. He, like my Leeds friends, 

* The following anecdote, it is conjectured, has reference to an 
incident connected with this tour. At all events it shows the 
importance of the subsequent decision of the Committee, which 
appointed a regular agent to visit the auxiliary societies, and the 
difficulties he had at first to encounter. 

* Nearly thirty years since the Committee requested a friend to 
visit the auxiliaries in the northern counties, to endeavour to 
make them more efficient. He reached Darlington, and with some 
anxiety inquired into the state of the Society's first association. 
He was introduced to a venerable and devoted man, who appeared 
most willing to furnish all the information in his power on the 
subject. Every answer he gave was accompanied by a most 
emphatic movement of his artificial leg on the floor of the room. 
«* Who is your Treasurer ?" " I am." ** Who acts as Secretary ?" 
*<I do." "Who form your Committee?" "I am the Com- 
mittee." " Have you a Depositary ?" ** I am the Depositary." 
And so the deputation discovered that this once flourishing Society 
had so entirely declined, that all of it that remained was centred 
in one friend, and he has long since finished his earthly course. 
Within a few years, a new auxiliary has been established, which is 
in active operation, under the disinterested superintendence of 
several respected friends.' — Jubilee Voiume, p. 167 


has been the Society's warm supporter till the 
present day. I slept under the hospitable roof of 
Mr. Eonner. I held my first meeting in this im- 
portant town, and afterwards visited North and 
South Shields, and Sunderland. The service at 
this last-named place was at Bethel Chapel. Mr, 
Mather preached, and the other members of the 
deputation addressed the people. 

' On reaching Alnwick, we were kindly re- 
ceived by the Eev. Mr. Eaith, the Presbyterian 
minister. The castle was to us all an object of 
peculiar interest. The surrounding country, in- 
cluding the Cheviot Hills, is remarkably fine. In 
the castle we saw the horrid dungeon in which 
prisoners were formerly confined. The walks 
through Hulme Park appear as fresh on my 
memory as though the visit had been recently 
made. In Alnwick an auxiliary was formed, 
which continues until this day. 

* The visit to Berwick-on-Tweed was interest- 
ing. A new Society was formed. On the Sunday 
I walked to Spittal, and preached for Mr. White- 
bois, a minister whose acquaintance I had made 
in London. My text was — " We are more than 
conquerors through him who loved us." 

* At Haddington we had a meeting, and there 
met two of the sons of the Eev, John Brown, the 
commentator. Much was told us of the earnest 


piety and devotion of this learned man. Surely 
he had his reward in four sons labouring as minis- 
ters of the gospel of Christ. 

* On the 19th September we reached Edinburgh, 
and dined with the Hon. Mr. Digby. A meeting 
was held in behalf of the Society, at which it 
was said that eighteen hundred people were 
present. Here we met the Eev. Legh Eichmond, 
the clerical secretary of the Society. He was the 
great attraction of the evening, and spoke delightr 
fully. Our visit to the Scottish metropolis was 
highly satisfactory. After visiting Dunfermline 
and other principal towns, we returned to London 
highly grateful for the goodness and mercy we 
had experienced.'^ 

Soon after his return to town, Mr. W. Jones 
received the following communication from the 
Committee of the Eeligious Tract Society, through 
Mr. J. Davis, then the assistant-secretary : — 

* At a meeting of the Committee of the Ee- 
ligious Tract Society, held on the 3rd October, 

* It was resolved unanimously, 

* That the most cordial thanks of this Com- 

^ The result of this journey was the establishment of nine new 
Societies in the north of England, besides the resuscitation of 
several old auxiliaries which had been in a state of decadence or 


mittee be given to Mr. William Jones for his 
persevering, laborious, and useful exertions in 
behalf of the Society during his late visit to the 
north of England and Scotland, and that he be 
requested to accept a copy of the twenty years' 
proceedings, and also of the publications, as a 
small testimony of their grateful feelings. 

' That this Committee, perceiving the interest 
that Mr. Jones feels for the Eeligious Tract 
Society, are anxious that he should become one of 
their number. 

* That Mr. W. Jones be appointed a member of 
this Committee, and of the Sub-Committee for 
auxiliaries, from the present time.' 

This invitation to become one of their number 
was accepted, and Mr. Jones immediately after- 
wards took his seat at the Board of that Society, 
with which, from that time to the very close of 
life, he was closely connected. His position was one 
of much interest. His own reflections upon it are 
pleasing : — * I was now only twenty-four, and a 
managing clerk in an attorney's office, not having 
at that time obtained my certificate. My fellow 
committee-men were professional men and mer- 
chants of high respectability. When sometimes 
called to the chair at the meetings of the Board, 
I felt almost overwhelmed with my position. 
What a contrast to the scenes of my youth ! Eight 



years had scjaxcely passed away since I first entered 
Surrey Chapel Sunday-school as a teacher, and 
then the responsibilities of the alphabet class seemed 
suflSciently heavy for me. Truly the Lord " led 
me by a way that I knew not." May I venture 
humbly to hope that the promise will be gra- 
ciously fulfilled, — " Them that honour me I will 
honour." " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and 
his righteousness, and all other things shall be 
added unto you." ' 

For three years he acted on the Committee, and 
felt an increasing interest in all that concerned 
the advancement of the good cause. His new 
duties were a source of real delight to him. After 
a while a variety of circumstances suggested to 
the Committee the importance of securing the 
entire services of a gentleman to travel for the 
Society, and to engage in other official duties. 
After lengthened conversations at various meet- 
ings of the Board, a minute was prepared by 
Mr. W. F. Lloyd, in which were sketched the 
qualifications to be required, and the duties that 
would devolve on the new officer. This was at 
length embodied in a formal resolution to this 
effect : — * That it is expedient that this Institu- 
tion should have the assistance of a suitable person 
to visit its various auxiliaries, and to promote the 
formation of new ones ; to advocate the cause, and 


to advance its general interests throughout the 
country ; and that the person so to be employed 
should be a gentleman of a truly catholic spirit, 
well acquainted with the Keligious Tract Society, 
and attached to its interests, possessing capabilities 
of addressing public meetings, with a general 
knowledge of business, and an acquaintance with 
the general working of Sunday-schools.' 

There seems from the first to have been a 
general impression on the minds of the Committee 
that it would not be necessary to go out of their 
own number in order te secure the needful agent. 
In the journey which he had taken in behalf of 
the Society in the north of England, Mr. W. 
Jones had already manifested many of the qualifi- 
cations required, and he was known to possess the 
others. Indeed, many good effects were believed 
to have already resulted from his labours in their 
cause. Overtures were therefore made to him 
on the subject. * My much-loved friend Mr. 
Lloyd/ he says, ' inquired privately if I did not 
think that I should listen to the wishes of the 
Committee if made known to me explicitly ; — the 
subject gave me great anxiety. I left my friend 
to take whatever course he thought proper, re- 
serving to myself the full consideration of the 
subject should I hear from the Committee on the 
matter. My only desire was " to follow the cloud " 
whithersoever it might lead me.' 


A few days after this conversation, he received 
a kind and characteristic note from Mr. Lloyd ; it 
was truly laconic, and simply expressed a hope 
that it * would not be inconvenient to him for 
once to absent himself from the Committee/ 
Immediately afterwards he received an invitation, 
signed by all the officers and members of the 
Committee,^ requesting him to accept the newly- 
proposed office. It was accompanied by a letter 
from Mr. J. Davis, the assistant-secretary, in 
which he very kindly expressed the satisfaction 
he felt at the prospect of being * more closely 
united with one who had won his affectionate 
esteem, and whose heart was so thoroughly 
engaged in the Tract cause,' and expressing a 
hope that by * his acquiescence in the proposed 
arrangement, the ties of their friendship might be 
greatly strengthened, and that they might jointly 
labour with increasing effect to the glory of their 
Lord and Saviour.' 

This matter gave him great anxiety. Nearly 
twelve months passed away before he made up his 
mind as to the course he should take. He was in 
the profession of the law, and his prospects were, 

^ The names appended to this document, which has been found 
among his private papers, are, Joseph Reyner {Treasurer), 
T. Cellatt, W. F. Lloyd, John Arundel, Joseph Hughes (Secretary), 
John Green, George Stokes, Thomas M. Coombs, J. T. Conquest, 
Joseph Cecil, John Campbell, Thomas Preston. All, save three, 
have passed into an eternal state. — 1856. 


to all appearance, very good. He was much 
attached to his profession. Friends differed in 
their views as to which his duty was in the 
matter. The claims of a young family, for by this 
time he had three children, rendered prudent 
measures needful ;^t was just possible that the 
new engagements, if entered upon, might not turn 
out successful. After much prayerfiil considera- 
tion, and much consultation with friends, espe- 
cially with his revered pastor, the Eev. Eowland 
Hill, he felt it to be his duty to comply with the 
wishes of the Committee. He joined the Institu^ 
tion as travelling secretary, in September, 1824, 

A new world was now opened to him. All was 
experiment. The Society was much esteemed, 
but little had been done for it. The claims of 
rival, and more public institutions, nearly eclipsed 
it. Its own daughter, the British and Foreign 
Bible Society, had taken away some of its effi- 
cient friends. They feared lest the more im- 
portant object of circulating the Holy Scriptures 
might be injured, if their liberality were diverted 
into another channel. * It appeared,' to use his 
own words, * almost like commencing the Society 

In the Eeport of the Eeligious Tract Society, 
for 1824, the following notice was taken of the 
appointment of Mr. W. Jones to the office of 


travelling and corresponding secretary : — * For 
some years past your Committee have received 
many pressing applications from auxiliary so- 
cieties, anxious to receive occasional visits from 
friends well acquainted virith the proceedings of 
the parent Institution, with which they have 
always found great difficulty in complying, as 
the clergymen and ministers, as well as most of 
the other friends connected with your Society, 
are deeply engaged for other institutions, and 
thus are unable to render that assistance which 
otherwise they would have rejoiced to afford. 
Upon calculation, the Committee found that the 
expense of an agent for the purpose would be, 
proportionally, far less than the cost of the friendly, 
yet desultory, assistance hitherto afforded, while 
the direct advantages would be exceedingly 

* The details of business to which such an 
agent would be called to direct his attention, as 
well as the neutral groimd occupied by your 
Society, required the selection of a layman ; while 
it was indispeiasible that he should be devoted to 
the cause of your Society, and only engage in 
the work from disinterested and Christian mo- 

' The wishes of your Conamittee unanimously 
centred in one of their number who had laboured 


in your cause for three years, and had shown 
that in every respect he was eminently qualified 
for such an office. This unanimous wish was 
intimated to him; he felt it his duty to give 
full consideration to so important a subject; 
eventually he deemed the call too strong and too 
important to be negatived, and he has become 
your agent for auxiliaries. 

* Upon this subject your Committee will only 
further remark, that they are confident that every 
member and friend of your Society who is ac- 
quainted with the individual in question, will 
participate in their gratification at announcing 
the. success of their application ; and they deem 
it but justice to add, that the actual and praspec- 
tive advantages he has relinquished to labour in 
the cause of your Society, prove that his decision 
has been disinterested, and could only have been 
adopted from a sense of duty and a desire of 

It may be stated that this kind notice of the 
qualifications of Mr. W. Jones, and earnest appre- 
ciation of the motives which induced him to take 
upon himself the duties of the new office, was 
from the pen of his valued friend Mr. George 
Stokes. The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth 
Annual Eeports of the Society, which contain 


many valuable and practical remarks, were written 
by this sincere friend and active supporter of the 
Tract Society. 

The new secretary soon found that his position 
was not unattended with difficulties. He would 
often, especially towards the close of life, when 
incapacitated from much active exertion, and 
confined to his house, talk over times long gone 
by, with members of his family. Very grate- 
ftdly would he contrast the present prosperous 
state of his much-loved Society with its condition 
when first he joined it, and often recal with no 
little pleasure the * up-hill work ' that he and his 
fellow-labourers had some thirty years before. 

' How would he oft look back and smile 
On thoughts that bitterest seemed ere while.' 

In truth the year 1824 was a remarkable one 
in the history of the Society. For some years 
the Society had felt considerable pressure on 
its finances, from the want of sufficient funds 
to meet its enlarged operations. Moreover, 
strange as it may appear now to many supporters 
of the Society, the commencement of two periodi- 
cals, which have since attained a popularity and 
circulation far beyond the most sanguine expecta- 
tions of their original projectors, — * The Tract 
Magazine' and * Child's Companion,' excited 


considerable opposition, and led to an extensive 
correspondence with distant friends, and frequent 
conferences with others in London. In a letter, 
written in 1844, Mr. Stokes thus graphically 
describes the excitement caused by the first ap- 
pearance of these little works ; — ' A statement, 
that these magazines were once strongly objected 
to and vehemently opposed, may not a little 
surprise many readers, especially among our 
yoimger friends; for truly in this matter, as 
Southey says : — 

* Twenty years 
Hare wrought strange alterations.' 

* When the magazines were commenced in 1824, 
friends looked grave and doubtful, opponents 
threatened, and there were public and printed 
declarations that the periodicals of the Tract 
Society ought not to be encouraged, or even per- 
mitted, and the members at large were urged 
to come forward and stop them ! Nor was this 
merely the voice of an enemy, of those who set 
at nought the truths of the Gospel ; this opposi- 
tion was urged as being a duty to the Christian 
public, and even to the Society itself! All sorts 
of evil surmises were brought forward, and many 
evil results predicted as sure to occur. The 
fimds of the Society would be perverted, its 


energies absorbed from more useful efforts ; — all 
other religious periodicals, however able and 
considerable from their bulk and literary execu- 
tion, would be interfered with; — children would 
be taken off from reading their Bibles; — twice 
the quantity of letter-press which ought to be 
given for a 'penny was offered ; — every book- 
seller would be more or less injured; — a cry of 
"monopoly" was raised, and a hundred more 
anticipations equally dolorous and threatening 
were urged by friends; to say nothing of the 
proceedings of enemies. Nay even the contra- 
dictory evil anticipation, that a few months 
would ^ see the stores of the editors exhausted, 
and the Society committed to what it could not 
carry on, and disgraced by failure, was urged by 
an excellent and devoted friend to the cause, 
and certainly had its influence.' 

Surrounded by such difficulties, as we have 
indicated, Mr. W. Jones conmienced his work. 
The first meeting that he attended as the agent 
of the Society was at Colchester on the 2 1st 
September, 1824. There he found that the 
' main-spring of the auxiliary ' was its depositary, 
Mr. John Kenn, a plain hiunble man. He was 
kindly received by the Eev. John Saville at his 
family mansion, and speaks gratefully of the 


encouragement that such attentions afforded him 
at the commencement of his labours. From 
Colchester he proceeded to the west of England. 
This was his first tour. He commenced it on 
the 23rd Sept. 1824 ; — on the evening of that 
day he reached Trowbridge. The Eev. Samuel 
Kilpin of Exeter joined him as one of the Deputa- 
tion. In company with this excellent man, Mr. 
W. Jones visited many of the principal towns in 
the west of England. 

The results of this first tour were by no means 
encouraging, and he began to have many fears 
that he had taken the wrong course in abandon- 
ing his profession, and becoming Secretary of 
the Eeligious Tract Society. * When I returned 
to town,' he writes, * and sat in my office recall- 
ing the various incidents of this tour, I was 
indeed depressed. " AH things appeared to be 
against me." I had found that the friends of 
Missions, to say nothing of the supporters of the 
Bible Society, were feaxfid of pushing forward 
the claims of our Society, and gave me but a 
cold support. I had discovered also that the 
Eev. Legh Richmond and other friends had 
made but modest claims for the Institution. 
Again and again I had been told " Your own 
secretary lias assured us that you do not want 
much aid; that a subscription of one penny 



a-week would meet your necessities." And I 
had found tliat rich men were content to con- 
tribute this very trifle to our Society.'^ 

In addition to those difficulties which we have 
already described, there were local plans tliat in 
several places interfered with a full, and cordial 
support of the Tract Society. The interests of 
individuals sometimes led to a secret opposition, 
the more hurtful because its true source was 
concealed. And thus Mr. Jones at the first 
visited town after town, and appeared to make no 
progress.^ The very sound of a collection 
alarmed the good people in the country — *A11 
manner of inaccurate notions/ he says, * about 
the Sxjiety occupied their minds. There were 
some that did not like the agent to be paid; in 
such a cause all should be voluntary service. 
One person, a solicitor, shook his head very 
mysteriously and expressed his fears that I had 

^ See, on this subject, * Jubilee Memorial,' p. 155. 

* In a letter written in 1825, he says, * Since I left home I hare 
had mam/ many discouragements, but still the work must go for- 
ward. The opposition of enemies, — the coldness of friends,-— the 
prudent calculations of the half-awakened, can never prevent the 
accomplishment of the Divine purposes. God is a Sovereign, and 
will work. He has given to his Son *' the heathen for his inherit- 
ance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession," and 
no power therefore can prevent the predictions of the Bible from 
Ibeing fulfilled, or the accomplishment of God's work in the sotils 
«f his people.' 


failed in other objects, and that the Society was, 
in my case, a "refuge for the destitute!" 
Often did the fable of " The Old Man and his 
Ass " present itself to my mind> so impossible 
was it to conciliate those who were determined 
to find fault/ 

He adds, as an illustration of the difiiculties 
he had to encounter, ' I was once urged to call 
on a gentleman, of the city of B — , in the west 
of England, who stood high in the religious 
world, and seek his co-operation. I called, but 
was not asked in. I stood in the passage, and 
heard the good man tell his servant that he 
would not see me. I was, therefore, coldly 
bowed out. — Oh! how my poor heart desponded. 
All my visits seemed fruitless. I returned to 
my room at the hotel, and relieved myself with 
tears. I resolved to return to London in the 
morning, and resign my position. The quiet of 
the night relieved me, and prayer was answered. 
Faith was given to me, and I det-ermined that 
my motto should be ** Faint, yet pursuing." 
The subsequent kindness of friends in this same 
city, has been a rich recompense for the trial of my 
first visit.' 

There were, however, some sunny scenes in 
the midst of many cloudy days. During his 
first tour he left Mr. Kilpin at Tewkesbury, 



and proceeded to Worcester to see Mrs, Sher- 
wood, the celebrated authoress. The Committee 
were anxious that she should write more fre- 
quently for the Society, and for this purpose 
requested Mr. W. Jones to seek an intierview 
with her. 

From memoranda that he has left he seems 
to have been highly delighted with the two 
hours' conversation, he enjoyed with this gifted 
woman. * I soon discovered,' he says, * that I 
was at home in her company. She has a lively 
sunny countenance. Most pleased was I with her 
earnest desire to do good. Her kind words en- 
couraged me much to renewed efforts in behalf 
of that work to which God, in his providence, 
had called me.' 

Whilst, however, Mr. W. Jones was toiling in 
the country, often depressed at the little suc- 
cess of his efforts, he was cheered by the kind 
countenance and support of the Committee 
in London. With two of their number, Mr. 
Stokes and Mr, Lloyd, he was brought into a 
more intimate connexion, and he often alludes 
to the way in which they sympathized with 
him in his difficulties, and encouraged him 
to persevere. In the Jubilee Memorial, these, 
together with himself, are designated * the three- 
fold cord.' 


Long were these three permitted to work toge- 
ther for the good of the Society, each in the 
peculiar manner suited to his talents and charac- 
ter. By degrees that ihreefbld cord has been 
fully unravelled, but only to be reimited in a 
better world. 

An extract from a letter written by Mr. Stokes 
some few years afterwards, on the subject of the 
discouragements already alluded to, will show how 
firm and unfailing a friend he was at all times to 
the Society. *I believe,' he says, addressing 
Mr. W. Jones, * that no one can have a deeper 
impression than myself of what you have had to 
go through, and to bore through. God, who called 
you to this work, eminently fitted you for it, and, 
enabling you to cast all your care upon Him, has 
carried you through all difficulties, and given you 
to see the fruits of your labours in an extrdordir 
nary degree. I have formed this opinion not 
only from what I have seen and heard of your 
operations, but reasoning also from what I have 
myself seen and felt in a more limited circle, 
when the principle was the same though the op- 
ponents neither so numerous, nor so bigoted, as 
those you have had to do with. Even at the pre- 
sent day I cannot but think, humanly speaking, 
that it is only the success which has been vouch- 
safed that causes the altered tone adopted now 


(1831) towards the Society. If discord once crept 
in, if the Society once stopped or retrograded in 
the least, that moment we should have the '* voice 
of wisdom '^ from a thousand quarters, and should 
be kindly helped deeper into the mire. I do not 
mean to impute unchristian enmity to any one, 
and especially rejoice that we have an increasing 
number of valuable ministerial supporters, but as 
a body we mnst not expect leading help from 
them. They cannot give it to the Religious 
Tract Society consistently with their principles 
and views of what is likely to further the Re- 
deemer's kingdom, except in subordination to 
missionary operations, which must claim their 
chief efforts. I would always encourage it, and 
rejoice to have it, and trt/ to have it, but I would 
never lean upon it. After all we are but mere 
instruments, and although, if God pleases, we may 
be employed to cut through deal boards, or to hew 
blocks into rude forms ; or, as you have been em- 
ployed, to " bore through thick-ribbed ice,'' yet we 
may be laid aside in a moment, and the glory 
belongs not to the tool but to the hand that guides 

An illustration or two of the truthful force of 
these statements may be furnished from Mr. W. 
Jones's private memoranda. Few, it is believed, 
have any idea of the continued efforts that were 


needful on the part, not only of himself, but of 
all others officially connected with the Institution 
to maintain its efficiency. * I visited Bath,' he 
writes, * and was, of course, anxious to secure the 
kind co-operation of Mr. Jay. My interview 
with him was by no means encouraging. ** We 
have a society at Argyll Chapel," he said, 
** and we send you some £5 a year. People 
come to Bath to spend their money ; they have 
but little to give away." Not being satisfied with 
the views of the good man, I called on various 
ministers and friends, who all seemed willing to 
co-operate with our Institution. With the con- 
currence of Mr. Jay's deacons, it was arranged 
that a meeting should be held in the vestry of 
Argyll Chapel in a few weeks, and in the mean- 
time I was to address the friends on the subject. 
This 1 did, and sent all the letters to one of Mr. 
Jay's deacons, who had kindly promised to have 
them delivered. On the arrival of my packet the 
subject was mentioned again to Mr. Jay, when he 
saw reason to dissent from our plans, and advised 
that the letters should be returned, and no meet- 
ing held. His objections, however, were over- 
ruled, the letters were delivered, a committee 
was formed, and the Auxiliary Society organized 
on a more efficient basis. The result has been 
good, the sales have been tenfold what they had 


been, and the £5 donation has often reached 

* The success of the Society at Bath, and 
much kindness received from all friends there, 
have long since formed a pleasing contrast to my 
first anticipations in that city.' 

Another instance of like character was that of 
— : — in Lancashire ; ' Here, our cause,' he says, 
* was miserably low. I wrote to the friends of 
different religious denominations, including, of 
course, the vicar. The reply from the vicar 
was unfavourable. Indeed, he said, that nothing 
could be done, and intimated that I had better 
not come. But as other ministers were willing 
to help, and several lay-churchmen were friendly, 
I felt it my duty to go to the town. On my 
arrival I proceeded to the vicarage, but my 
reception was not very cordial. The vicar re- 
gretted that he could not accede to my wishes, 
though he by no means was unfriendly to the 
cause in general, by taking any active part in 
our proposed proceedings. I was not a little 
disheartened, for the good man intimated that 
he should represent my conduct to the Com- 
mittee in London. He conceived, that after his 
letter apprising me that, as he already employed 
a poor old woman to sell our works, nothing more 
need or could be done, I was but wasting the 


money and time of the Society in coming to his 

* Nevertheless, I felt it my duty to persevere. 
With a heavy heart I went for the purpose of 
making arrangements for the meeting to the house 
of a friend, who had kindly promised his co-opera- 
tion. There I met several other friends, and 
amongst them a Mr. B., one of the officers of the 
parish, who had been present, singularly enough, 
at my interview with the vicar. He consented 
to take the chair ; — it was, indeed, a relief to me. 
He regretted that he could not coincide with his 
much-respected minister, and sought in the kind- 
est manner to heal the wound from which he saw 
I was suffering. The society was formed, and 
has been ever since one of the most efficient in 
the noi-th of England.' 

Notwithstanding the many difficulties in the 
way of the Society, they were gradually removed. 
Year after year William Jones toiled on, earnestly, 
perseveringly ; travelling from place to place 
during nearly nine months in each year, and ad- 
vocating almost daily the cause of the Society. 
By degrees, one opponent after another was con- 
ciliated ; the support of many, who, for various 
causes, had held aloof, was secured; new auxiliaries 
were formed in different parts of the kingdom ; 
and the finances of the Society, which at times 


had been a source of much anxiety to the Com- 
mittee, placed on a safe and sound footing. The 
singular combination in his character of earnests 
ness and gentleness, by the one quickening zeal, 
and the other disarming opposition, eminently 
qualified him for the oflSice which, in the provi- 
dence of God, he had been called to fill. The 
labour of his employment was necessarily great ; 
few, it is believed, were at all conscious of the 
amount of physical effort which it demanded. In 
truth, nothing but his regular and methodical bu- 
siness habits, his unwearied diligence, and his 
rigid adherence to one rule, of making everything 
subordinate to the interests of the Society, could 
have enabled him to accomplish the amount of 
work that was unavoidably required of him. 

One instance of the varied duties devolving 
upon him on each recurring visit to an important 
town shall be given. The example is from Man- 
chester. On his arrival his first duty was to visit 
the local depository, or the various booksellers who 
sold the publications of the Society, and con- 
fer with them on the accounts, &c. He had next 
to see the friends of the Institution, and to meet 
the Committee of the auxiliary society. Then all 
arrangements were made for the approaching 
meeting. A dinner-party often followed; then 
the public meeting, at which, of course, he 


took a prominent part, often speaking for more 
thian an hour, whilst advocating the claims of the 
Society, and giving illustrations of the blessing 
which had attended its efforts. Even then his 
work was not over, for very often some friends 
were asked to meet him in the evening, with whom 
of course he conversed on the operations of the So- 
ciety. He seldom retired before the midnight 
hour, and whilst others were resting he was 
carrying on the correspondence for which the per- 
petual employment of the day had left him no 
time. A friend, whose kind hospitality he inva- 
riably enjoyed, when travelling in the north of 
England, was often surprised at seeing him, when 
he appeared at the breakfast-table the following 
morning, with a * good handful ' of letters for the 
post, all of which had been written since they had 
parted but a few hours before. 

In the month of April he usually visited De- 
vonshire and Cornwall. On this tour he took with 
liim the materials for the Society's annual report, 
which was, ever since his oflScial connexion with 
the Society, prepared by him. For several years 
he wrote this document whilst on his western 
journey, chiefly on the Saturdays, when no meet- 
ings could be held. Thus his time was wholly 
given to the Society. But little opportunity was 
afforded for relaxation. His bow was always fully 


bent ; but this to him was no trial, for, loving the 
work in which he was engaged, he willingly de- 
voted to it all his energies. Nothing could divert 
him from what he believed to be the right path; 
nothing could induce him to neglect, in the 
slightest degree, the duties of his position. 

* Ifj' he wrote to his eldest son on one occasion, 
* we would have peace of mind, we must pursue 
unswervingly the path of duty. If we would 
have God's blessing, we must go straight forward 
on our way, without looking to the right-hand 
or to the left, but only intent on fulfilling the 
work to which God has called us.' 

The success vouchsafed by God to the labours 
of the agents of the Society is, of course, very 
well known to all its friends and supporters. 
The * threefold cord ' worked happily together. 
Supported by those good men who formed the 
members of the successive Committees of the 
Society, and whose unanimity in council, and 
steady pursuit of the one absorbing object of 
their endeavours, — the * winning souls to Christ,' 
— tended so materially to help on the good cause, 
they found their efforts in behalf of the Society 
crowned with success. Indeed, to the kind sup- 
port of the Committee, and their unanimity, Mr. 
W. Jones would often allude. * In connexion with 
the labours of the Committee,' he writes, * there has 


been a continued and successful effort to maintain 
" the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace," 
which may be regarded as one reason why their 
exertions have been so eminently blessed of God. 
This union has not resulted from the sacrifice of 
principle, because the members have felt " that 
the unity which the Scriptures demand, is only 
the unity of those who hold alike the great doc- 
trines of Christian truth, but consent to differ 
on matters concerning which Scripture does not 
carry determinate conviction to every honest 
mind. In the management of the Society, there 
have been many subjects discussed, which have 
necessarily called forth various opinions among its 
members, and yet Christian love and mutual for- 
bearance have sustained the Institution, and the 
great fact is exhibited to the world, that brethren 
differing on minor points can unite in making 
known all essential truths. In giving these truths 
the widest circulation, as well as in lofty ascrip- 
tions of praise to Him who is the fulness and 
glory of them, all the saints can join — 

** The Church triomphant and the Church below, 
In songs of praise then* pi'esent union show ; 
Their joys are full, our expectation long , 
In life we differ, hut we join in song. 
Angels and saints, assisted by this art, 
May sing togethei*, though they dwell apart." * 

The * Jubilee Memorial,' from which the fore- 


going extract is taken, contains a full and detailed 
account of the proceedings of tbe Society from its 
commencement in 1799. Many of the particu- 
lars recorded, especially those under the head of 
* Home Operations,' came under Mr. W. Jones' 
own observation. The volume contains, amongst 
other things, a record of his own thirty years' 
labours in the service of the Society. The 
results of the efforts made during this period 
by various friends of the Institution were certainly 
surprising. When he joined it in 1824 it had 
already existed one quarter of a century, but 
within that time its labours had been confined 
almost exclusively to home objects; its issues 
had been limited to tracts strictly so called; 
its auxiliaries were but few in number, and some 
of these were but in a languishing state. The 
financial condition of the Society was such as 
caused anxiety, not to say embarrassment, to its 
friends, for, as the profit arising from sales did 
not suffice to meet all necessary expenses, the de- 
ficiency was supplied from the subscriptions and 
donations, and more than once were the mem- 
bers of the Committee indebted to the disin- 
terested liberality of friends for temporary loans 
with which to meet the demands made upon 

When, however, the Society entered its second 


quarter of a century, (in 1824,) a material change 
took place in its prospects. Various plans were 
then adopted with the object of making the busi- 
ness portion of the Institution self-supporting: 
amongst others the issue of periodicals and books ; 
the one, making known the operations of the 
Society, the other, tending, by the profits on their 
sale, materially to increase the funds. Throughout 
the country the friends were stirred up to help in 
the holy work. In ten years, by the blessing of 
God, great things had been accomplished. The 
benevolent income of the Society had been well- 
nigh doubled, the gratuitous issues increased 
threefold, the receipts from sales more than 
fivefold, and many new auxiliary societies had 
been formed in different parts of the country. 
Moreover, it was during these ten years that it 
extended its operations in foreign lands, and 
placed on a firm basis plans that hitherto had been 
desultory and ill-sustained.* And with no little 
gratitude was it that in the year 1835 the Com- 
mittee were able to assure their friends through- 
out the country, that their finances were now in 
so satisfactory a state as to cause them no further 
anxiety. The business funds of the Society were 
altogether independent of its benevolent income* 
Nay, more, the gratuitous issues in paper and 

1 See Jubilee Memorial, pp. 417 — 419. 


publications, and also in money grants to foreign 
societies, without any charge whatever for agency, 
amounted in that year to nearly £900 beyond the 
whole amount received from the public in sub- 
scriptions and other contributions. 

And from that time to the present the course 
of the Society has been one of steady, unbroken 
progress. In 1854 alone, the amount devoted to 
gratuitous issues, nearly equalled the whole sum 
appropriated to this object for the first quarter of 
a century of the Society's existence. Its foreign 
operations, hardly commenced in reality till 1824, 
and not at all contemplated in the original designs 
of its founders, have been extended to every 
quarter of the globe. It has sent forth more 
than five thousand distinct publications, and its 
total circulation of religious works has amoimted 
to the enormous number of seven himdred and 
seven millions ; and these have been printed in 
no less than one hundred and twelve distinct 
languages and dialects. Its auxiliaries now 
number about three hundred, each sending its 
tributary stream to increase the volume of the 
majestic river which thus carries blessings and 
spiritual fertility through so many of the barren 
regions of earth. In fact, within half a century 
from its formation, nearly (ynz million and a quar- 
ter sterling passed through its treasury. Well 


might tbe friends of tbe Society be called upon 
to unite together at their jubilee in 1849 in the 
;words of the psalmist, * The Lord hath done great 
things for us : whereof we are glad/ 

These results, however, as we have already inti- 
mated, were not accomplished without many an 
anxiety to those who were the chief agents, under 
God, in procuring them. It is pleasing when we 
have attained the summit of a high mountain to 
look back on the rugged steep up which we have 
clambered, and to smile at the difficulties we 
may have encountered. In acknowledging the 
great blessings vouchsafed to the effi)rts of the 
friends of the Society, Mr. W. Jones seems 
almost to forget the seasons of depression through 
which he passed, more especially at the com^- 
mencement of his labours. At times he suffijred 
deeply when he saw the want of means threat- 
ening, more than once, to cripple the operations 
of the Society. * I remember,' he writes, * on 
one occasion Mr. Pellatt asked, "What is the 
^extent of our liability as a Committee ?" I told 
him that he had better not enter upon that 
subject I hoped the cause would go on well. 
After the Committee meeting I looked into the 
accounts. Our liabilities were certainly not less 
than £10,000. For a moment or two my heart 
sank within me. On another occasion there was 



much opposition, promoted I fear by trade ini- 
fluence and the new and enlarged efforts of the 
Institution. The magazines, book-publications, 
church histories, all produced the sound of thun- 
der in the distance. My 'correspondence with 
fearful and mistaken friends was extensive. And 
jet my faith seldom failed me. Once my dear 
friend Mr. G. Stokes thought that I was indeed 
depressed. I owned to him that I feared the 
result of opposition, and that our funds would b6 
materially affected. I shall never forget the 
energy with which he exclaimed, ** If £10,009 
are wanted to maintain our cause it shall be 
forthcoming." I knew the man, and from that 
hour I cast my doubts to the winds. Never 
since have I felt timid concerning the well- 
•being of the Society.. Indeed the finances of 
the Society have prospered beyond my most 
■sanguine expectations. For many years now 
(1854) the Committee have had no liability 
whatever in pecuniary matters, the Society's 
actual property being a complete indemnity to 

Mr. W. Jones' own reflections on the great 
success vouchsafed to the Society, and the duty 

^ Mr. W. Jones' sketch of the origin and progress of the Society 
for the first fifty years of its existence, given at the Jubilee 
Breakfast held May 9, 1849, was most interesting. It was 
printed in the • Christian Spectator ' of May 16, 1849. 


* - • . • 

incumbent on all Christians to use increased 
efforts for tlie promotion of its holy objects, are 
too striking to be omitted. 

' Could the venerable founders and early 
friends of the Society now look back on the 
origin of the cause they loved and promoted, 
and for which they disinterestedly laboured, and 
view its present position, how elevated would be 
their joy ! They would find the^r first circula- 
tion of two hundred thousand tracts in one lan- 
guage increased to Jive hundred millions in one 
hundred and ten languages and dialects, and 
their first receipts of four hundred and sixty* 
seven pounds extended to more than one mUlian* 
These surprising and unexpected results would 
call forth their loftiest praises to God, whose bless* 
ing has so abundantly followed their efforts to 
glorify his holy name. 

* It is true that a portion of the seed which 
has been widely sown by the Society may have 
fallen by the way-side, in stony places, and 
among thorns, but facts abundantly prove that 
other portions have fallen into good groimd, and 
have borne much fruit. Sinners have been con- 
verted to God, — Qhristians edified and comforted, 
— backsliders mercifully restored, and numerous 
evils prevented by timely admonitions. The 
seed of the word has also been scattered in the 

I 2 


midst of our population, and though spiritual 
benefits have not always been attained, yet it 
has been prolific for good in the moral and social 
ameliorations which it has conferred, particularly 
on the rising generation. 

* If a careful examination of the Society's 
history affords satisfactory evidence that its hoTne 
labours have been beneficial, the foreign portion 
of its proceedings suggests a variety of pleasing 
and animating considerations. These extensive 
operations do not appear to have been contem- 
plated by its founders, and there is reason to 
believe that many of the warmest and most 
liberal supporters of the Eeligious Tract Society 
have been too little acquainted with their great 

* The Missionary Institutions led the way to 
the foreign field. Their agents discovered that 
in heathen countries in which letters were known, 
the literature was polluted by all the abominations 
of people who were living " without God in the 
world." In other lands the inhabitants were 
found in the same state of moral degradation, but 
without a written language through which " the 
common salvation " could be made known* Mis- 
sionaries had accordingly to devote many years in 
order to master difficult tongues, and when they 
became proficient in them, they gave their few 


unemployed hours to the preparation of suitable 
tracts for the instruction of the people for whom 
they toiled. The author, sometimes, from ne- 
cessity, became the printer of his own produce 
tions, and laboured diligently in working off 

the sheets from the type he had carefully put 
together. - 

* The foreign proceedings of the Society, aided, 
by the disinterested labours of the missionaries of 
all denominations, have been productive of the 
most important benefits to the heathen and un- 
enlightened nations of the world. In some cases, 
when the people were just emerging from a state 
of barbarism, the Christian press has given a sanc- 
tified character to the first literature they pos- 
sessed. The rude language of the savage has, 
after being reduced to a written standard, con- 
verted to his darkened mind the truth as it is in 
Jesus. Among nations the most ancient, the 
leaven of the gospel has been diffused, the errors 
of ages exposed, and, in some cases, counteracted. 
Through the printing press the Society has ex-: 
posed the errors of Popery on the Continent, of 
Mohammedanism in the East, and of Paganism 
in heathen lands. 

* The question may be properly asked : " By 
what means have these great results been ob- 
tained and secured for the long period of fifty 


years ?" The reply is cheerfully and gratefully 
made — they have been freely bestowed by the 
Lord, and by his good pleasure they have been 
continued. He has given efficiency to the in- 
strumentality employed; and after reviewing 
the whole of the Society's history, and the fruits 
which have been gathered from its labours, the 
conductors of the Institution would ascribe all its 
success to Him, and adopt the solemn language of 
the apostle, " For of Him, and through Him, and 
to Him are all things : to whom be glory for ever. 

* The Divine blessing, however, has been gra- 
ciously connected with the disinterested labours, 
prayerful perseverance, and constant jealousy for 
the truth, of the Christian men who have had the 
management of the Society's affairs. Its officers 
and Committees have discharged their solemn 
trust with remarkable energy and punctuality, 
and in all the publications which have been circu- 
lated, both at home and in foreign lands, they have 
shown an invariable anxiety fully to make known 
the way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. 

* The agency necessary for the future advance- 
ment of the Society's objects will be raised up 
when the same is needed. Christian men will 
appear in due season, imbued with the spirit, and 
possessed of the energies and wisdom of a Burder^ 


B Hughes, a Richmond, and a Stokfes,^ In all 
probability, a large portion of the work connected 
with the evangelization of the world will devolve 
<m our country and her colonies. Our national 
position in the midst of the kingdoms of the 
earth, and our national progress, have already 
enabled us to plant the tree of life in many parts 
of the globe. Our possessions are foimd in almost 
every latitude, and people civilized and barbarous 
acknowledge our rule. Nations distant from 
each other, and dissimilar in language, colour, 
and religion, have become fellow*subjects in the 
same great empire. Colonies established by other 
powers are now, by the providence of God, the 
dependants of our sea-girt island, and within the 
reach of our influence. Our language and our re- 
ligious literature will continue to follow our national 
course, and will become identified with a large 
portion of the world's population. Our command- 
ing position, therefore, calls loudly on the churches 
of our country, by every practicable means, to 
** hold forth the word of life '* to all nations. 

* What the future trials or triumphs of the 
Society may be, are altogether unknown. If, 
however, evangelical truth continues to enrich 

* This was written in 1850. May we not now (1855) add to 
this Est of worthies the names of William Freeman Lloyd and 
William Jones? 


its publications, and if its supporters, with un- 
compromising fidelity, and without reserve, de- 
termine to know nothing among men save Jesus 
Christ and Him crucified, the Institution, guided' 
and blessed by the Holy Spirit, will continue to 
advance in its course until its own successes, with 
those of kindred associations, rend,er its agency 
no longer necessary. Then the wearied labourer 
will cease from his work, and with those who, in 
every age, have been "valiant for the truth upon 
the earth," will unite in the glorious anthem : * 'Al- 
leluia : for the Bord God omnipotent reigneth. — 
The kingdoms of this world are become the king- 
doms of our Lord, and of his Christ ; and He shall 
reign for ever and ever." ' ^ 

We will now return to our narrative, from 
which we digressed, in order to show the great 
success that attended the efforts of the Society's 
friends during a certain period of its existence. 
On the retirement of Mr. John Davis, in 1842, 
firom his office as Superintendent, the general 
direction of the Society's affairs devolved on' 
Mr. W. Jones. He was now required to give 
more of his personal attendance in London, and 
was, of course, unable any longer to bestow his 
undivided attention on the claims of the auxili- 
aries, the friends of whiclk always looked to him, 

^ Jubilee Memorial, pp. 633 — 640. 


at their respective anniversaries, as the represen- 
tative and advocate of the parent Institution. 
This part of his duties he by degrees delegated 
to others, though, till nearly the end of life, 
except when strictly forbidden by his medical 
advisers, he was in the habit of attending some 
public meetings in behalf of the Society. 

He carried into all the details of the business 
of the Society the same habits of regularity and 
persevering diligence that we have noticed as 
characteristic of his course as travelling secre- 
tary. He thought it his duty to make himself 
acquainted, and that accurately, with the working 
of every department of the Society. Those who 
knew him intimately can testify abundantly how 
much kindness was .mingled with that firmness 
with which he thought it right to maintain the dis- 
cipline of the establishment, and how scrupulously 
conscientious he was in everything that con- 
cerned the well-being of the Society. The 
anecdote related by Mr. Barnes, the Member of 
Parliament for Bolton, at a recent anniversary 
meeting, is but one instance, out of many that 
might be mentioned, of his unbending determi- 
nation to conduct all bui^ess arrangements on 
the principle of the strictest integrity.^ 

1 * Some two or three years ago/ said Mr. Barnes, ' there was 
a friend of mine, a paper-maker, who expressed his suspicion that 



The efforts that were made, during the years 
that he held, in addition to the secretaryship, the 
superintendency of the Society, in behalf of 
various special objects, were carried out mainly 
through his exertions. He originated most of 
them, — the appeals were generally written by 
him, — ^th(3 business arrangements were princi- 
pally conducted by him. In this last remark 
we refer to the efforts he made, immediately 
after taking the office of Superintendent, to 
rebuild the premises of the Society. After much 
negotiation with the owners of the property, con- 
ducted, it is believed, chiefly by himself, and by 
means of fimds raised, to a great extent, by his 
exertions, the Committee were able to erect the 
present commodious premises at a cost of more 
than £15,000, without touching one penny of 
the free subscriptions, donations, and contributions 
given to the Society for its gratuitous objects. 

there was jobbery connected with the house in Paternoster-row, 
f^r he had often gone and solicited orders, but never obtained one. 
j^s he was one of the largest paper-makers in the world, he was 
at last invited to bring in samples. He went, and as he was 
going to meet Mr. Jones, he was quite sure he should obtain a 
profitable order. His samples were shown, and he was told he 
could have no order. Why not ? Because you were buying ten 
per cent, cheaper than he was selling. I think this is a good 
illustration of the manner in which the business department of 
this Society is conducted.' 


It would be wrong were we not, in passing, also 
to notice the great success that attended his 
efforts in 1849 in raising the 'Jubilee Fund/ 
the proceeds of which were devoted to special 
objects in connexion with the labours of the 
Society, amongst which were the spiritual wants 
of Ireland and the Continent of Europe. The 
amount raised exceeded his most sanguine expec- 
tations. Wlien he first set the effort on foot, he 
hoped to raise by great exertions a thouscmd 
pounds ; — ^to his joy he found the fund gradually 
increase, until at last it reached well nigh nine 
times that sum; — the actual amount was £8883 
13«. M. 

• Indeed his mind was not only most practical, 
but eminently suggestive. He was always on 
the watch, on his journeys or in his office at 
Paternoster Row, at home or abroad, for any plan 
which he thought would advance the good work 
in which the Society was engaged. He was 
accustomed to record with scrupulous accuracy 
all facts illustrative of the usefulness of the 
Society's publications ; — these were narrated in 
the successive Eeports of the Society, and the 
most remarkable of them were reproduced in the 

* Jubilee Volume.' The editors of the periodi- 
cals published by the Society were often indebted 

124 THE secretary: 

to him for incidents which formed the ground- 
work of many of their articles. Though he 
never wrote any of the papers sent forth under 
the name of ' Old Huipphrey,' an opinion which, 
as is well known, was at one time extensively 
current, yet this ingenious author was frequently 
furnished with materials by Mr. W. Jones. The 
* Monthly Volume,' which was commenced in 
1845, was, it is believed, the result of a con- 
versation with an intelligent friend of the Society 
in a large town in the north of England, who 
spoke of the need of such volumes to meet * the 
new development and growing intelligence of the 
times,' and to * supply a large number of people 
who could only spare time enough for the perusal 
of a small volume, and whose means would not 
allow of a large purchase ' with works of acknow- 
ledged merit and worth on literary or scientific 
subjects. The words of Dr. Arnold, which were 
chosen as the motto for the series, well described 
the character of this publication, — ' I never 
wanted articles on religious subjects half so much 
as articles on common subjects written with a 
decidedly Christian tone.' 

The details that have already been set before 
our readers, will have given a tolerably correct 
answer to the question which may perhaps have 


occurred to some, viz., what was the secret of 
Mr. W. Jones' success in his eflForts on behalf of 
the Society. As the Committee kindly state in a 
resolution forwarded to his family shortly after 
hi*' decease, — ' His sound judgment, and remark- 
able administrative power, and clear perception 
which the principles of the Society should exert 
in all its practical details, contributed, under 
the Divine blessing, in no small degree, to the 
extension of the Society's operations at home and 
abroad, and the place that it now holds in the 
confidence of the Christian Church.' His * wisdom 
and unassuming deportment in council, his per- 
severance and energy in labour, his unfailing 
faith in God in seasons of disappointment,' — these 
also they recognise as among the secret springs of 
that influence which he gained and used so well 
for the advancement of the cause which he so 
much loved. 

And after all, these last few words, — the cause 
which he so much hved, — give us the key that 
.explains his success. He thoroughly hved the 
work in which he was engaged ; — ^he completely 
identified himself with it. Eeflecting in his 
whole life and opinions the principles on which 
the Society was founded, — the * right man in the 
right place,' — he showed by his earnestness how 
completely his affections were given to the good 


cause. All connected with its interests, even 
apparent trifles, became matters of importance 
with him. The spectacles with which * Amelia 
Gale '^ first learned to read her Bible ; the epi- 
tciph on her tomb-stone, written by the poet 
Montgomery, — a small butterfly drawn on a card 
by * Elizabeth Kenning,'* and gratefully pre- 
sented to him, — a few blades of grass or sprigs of 
evergreen from the grave of the * Young Cot- 
tager,' — a piece of banana-leaf on which was 
printed, at one of the missionary stations in the 
West Indies, a hymn entitled * Plenitude de 
Jesus ' (* The Fulness of Jesus '), — these and 
similar treasures were kept in his * secretaire ;' — 
these were the only * pearls ' that had any charm 
for him or any real value in his eyes. 

It was, of course, as the pvbUc advocate of the 
Society in difierent parts of England that he was 
chiefly known. To his powers as a speaker we 
shall presently allude, but first of all it would be 
wrong to pass over that influence which he 
gained in his private intercourse with friends- 
There was a sincerity and warm-heartedness 
about him that at once found admission into the 
hearts of others. His ' habitual courtesy, his 
sympathy in all that affected the happiness of 
those around him, and his Christian consistency, 

> See Tract, No. 266. * See Tract, No.' 375. 


caused his preaence to be highly valued in every 
family circle which he visited.* Very many 
instances of the warm friendship felt for him by 
families, whom he first visited as the represen- 
tative of the Society, have come to the know- 
ledge of the writer. One, now holding an 
important position in the north of England, 
who knew him, will give striking testimony to 
the truth of the above statement. * I have,' he 
says, ' a most happy recollection of your father. 
He is associated with my very earliest remem- 
brances. He was, I think, invariably our guest, 
and his annual visit was looked forward to with 
joy by the whole household. His face was per- 
petual sunshine. His presence woke chords of 
joy as soon as he appeared. I loved him when I 
was quite a boy ; and when I became better able 
to imderstand and appreciate a man's worth he 
took a place in my esteem which is occupied by 
•very few. Nor is it in the least difficult to say 
for what I liked him. It was his radiant, unmis- 
takeable kindliness. He was always the same 
Mr. Jones from year to year. The same unvary- 
ing smile of benevolence walked in with him,— 
benevolence, not in its conventional sense, which 
is often a very narrow thing, — but in its broadest 
sense, Good mil. I have still some of the books 
which he used to leave every year as a present to 


me, and can see now the wisdom that gave the 
merely entertaining book to the boy of ^m, the 
more serious book to the opening youth.' 

There is many a family in various parts of 
England that can testify that the above picture 
is not an exaggerated one. It was in his private 
intercourse with friends, that, perhaps more than 
by his public appeals, he enlisted sympathy, and, 
it may be, disarmed opposition. Even apart from 
that respect which real, though unostentatious, 
piety, evident sincerity of purpose, and known 
consistency of conduct, were sure to have concili- 
ated, there were other features in his character 
which added to the attraction of his society. A 
fixed determination to avoid all topics of a con- 
troversial nature which might offend the preju- 
dices of the weakest, — a golden ride, which, as 
he always commended it to his children, so he 
faithfully obeyed it himself, — to say what good he 
was able concerning others, and to be silent re- 
specting their failings ; — to be no tale-bearer or 
mischief-maker; — a large stock of worldly pru- 
dence, we might term it common-sense^ which 
enabled him almost intuitively to strike out the 
course of wisdom and discretion; — above all, a 
large and sympathising heart, ever ready to listen 
with patience to the tale of trouble, and to pity, if 
he could not alleviate, — these were qualifications 


which secured, and, what is more, retained^ to the 
end of life, the afFecii»jnate esteem of many with 
whom he became first acquainted on some one or 
other of his journeys as the representative of the 
Society. And when we add to these, a fimd of 
anecdote, acquired by a habit of observation, and 
stored up by a retentive memory, considerable 
conversational powers, and a sparkling, though 
always chastened, humour, we wonder not 'at the 
&9cination avowedly felt by many in his society. 
Since his decease, many evidences of the affec- 
tionate esteem felt for him by friends in every 
part of the coimtry, and the ready welcome they 
ever afforded him, have come to the knowledge of 
the compiler of this volume. One, at whose fire- 
aide he often sat, writes — * I always felt, when he 
came imder myTroof, that I was entertaining a 
" man of God;" We still call the little room where 
he used to sleep the " prophet's chamber." There 
was always about him a tone of simple and 
unaffected piety.' And many a record that he 
left behind him, — in a brief sentence written 
in a book given as a present, — in a short entry 
in an album,-^— in kindly coimsel, — in a few words 
at parting,' — ^is treasured up in the memory of 
his firiends in all parts of England. More than 
one, tooy have called to mind those short, but 
touching expositions of Holy Scripture which 



often fell from his lips. Are there not some who 
are reading these pages, that can remember his 
beautiful comment on what be would call ' The 
Traveller's Psalm/ (Psalm cxxi.) and which he 
was wont to commence in this way : — * The mar- 
gin reads " Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills ? 
From whence cometh my help T Not from the 
hills, — not from any earthly source, — my help 
cometh from the great God himself, who hath 
made heaven and earth,' &c. — Cannot some, more- 
over, call to mind his remarks, natural enough to 
one engaged in a work, the object of which was 
the diffusion of Divine truth, on * The Missionary 
Psalm,' as he termed it, (Psalm Ixxii.) in which 
he dwelt on the glorious promises of the future 
extension of the Church of Christ, and showed 
how, in this om object, the psalmist's hopes and 
prayere seemed to find their issue ; — * Let the whole 
earth be filled with his glory; — the prayers of 
David the son of Jesse are mded^ — ^he had no 
further hope or desire than this/ — Or, once more, 
cannot they recall his heartfelt remarks on the 
twenty-third Psalm, or on the 10th chapter of St. 
John's Gospel, in which he would dwell on the 
love of the Good Shepherd for his chosen flock, 
guiding them in life, strengthening and support- 
ing them in death, blessing them throughout 
eternity. How one loves to call back thoughts 


familiar to him in his early years — ^truths which 
hundreds besides himself have had impressed on 
them by him, who now, in a better world, is 
realizing them in all their fulness. 

As dk public advocate, few who have heard him 
plead the cause of the Society can fail to have 
been struck with the easy, natural, way in which, 
without any apparent efibrt to himself, he made 
his statement, and set forth groimds on which 
the Society asked for the support of the Christian 
public. With a musical voice and clear intona- 
tion, a fluent utterance and entire self-possession, 
his speech, full of interesting anecdote and earnest 
feeling, seldom failed to gain the attention of his 
auditory. And here again we may quote the 
words of a friend, whose testimony to Mr. W. 
Jones' private worth has already been given.* 
* Your father's speech,' he writes, * at our anni- 
versary meetings always powerfully moved me. 
There was something so musical about it. It 
flowed on, not like some broad, sluggish river, 
nor like some imctuous mountain torrent, but like 
one of those brooks which are always musical, and 
yet ever changeful in volume or in force. There 
was stream enough to carry you along without any 
toil, and yet it was pleasure sailing. He was fre- 
quently to me a lesson upon the force of gentleness. 

* Supra, p. 127. 



I have seen and heard him when cultured 
eloquence has been on one side of him, and rugged 
earnestness on the other ; but he alone drew tears, 
or moved to that deep silence that tells of a yet 
stronger emotion.' Are there not many who will 
bear willing testimony to the truth of the above 
striking description ? How many have been thus 
moved as they listened to a simple tale of some 
poor sinner brought, through the instrumentality of 
the Society, to the Saviour's feet, related in all 
simple earnestness, by one whose every tone 
showed how truly he would have all partakers of 
a like zeal with himself, in the great work of 
making known the Gospel of Christ in the world. 
Heart answereth to heart. Full of deep and affec- 
tionate feeling himself, he had no difficulty in 
influencing the hearts of others. This, in truth, 
was the great secret of his success ; — 

* Si vis me flere, dolendum est 
Primum ipsi tibi/ 

It is not pretended that there was any striking 
genius, or perhaps much originality of thought 
displayed in Mr. W. Jones's public efforts. But 
he had a power, hardly less valuable than origi- 
nality of conception, of making the thoughts of 
others his own, of taking valuable ore .wherever 
he found it, and, after melting it in the crucible 
of his own mind, reproducing it with his own 


impress upon it. He had, moreover, great tact 
in seizing the salient points of facts that came 
under his own knowledge, and introducing them, 
at the proper time and place, as illustrations of 
some general truths which he was endeavouring 
to elucidate. But, after all, it was his simple 
earnestness, — ^his naturalnesB, — that charmed his 
hearers. He was full of his subject, — ^it was his 
life-study, he was, in fact, the *homo unius libri,' — 
he had mastered every matter connected with it— 
every detail of ita working was familiar to him as 
* household words.' Hence his fluency and self- 
possession, when pleading for this the absorbing 
topic of his thoughts and hopes. * How,' asked a 
friend of him on one occasion, * did you acquire 
the power of speaking so easily, and at such 
length, without hesitation.' His reply was most 
truthful. * Any one can speak on a subject he 
thoroughly imderstands, and in which his feelings 
are deeply interested.' 

In the course of his numerous journeys, he was 
at times, especially during the earlier part of his 
career, placed in circumstances, which to some 
would have caused embarrassment ; but it is not 
known that his calm self-possession ever forsook 
him. His large stock of common-sefnaey which, 
after all, seems to have been the great feature in 
his character, always stood him in good stead, 

!■■< ■» — . 


and he was equal to every emergency. He took 
care never, as he termed it, to * trespass on the 
territory of others, and travel out of his own do- 
main/ and every bye-lane there was fully known 
to him. In overcoming obstacles raised by the 
apathetic or the timid to the progress of the 
Society, or in answering objections openly urged 
against it, he was equally successful. He seemed 
never at a loss how to act imder any difficulty, 
real or apparent. 

On one occasion, for instance, he arrived in a 
small town in the west of England, and found 
the friends but little prepared for a meeting. 
They talked of postponement to some more con- 
venient season. This, however, did not suit the 
zealous Secretary. In stating the result to his 
son, a little time afterwards, he said, ' We had a 
singular scene at . I was a complete plu- 
ralist. I was Chairman, Secretary, Deputation, 
Speaker ; — I had to move all the resolutions, and, 
last not least, to turn clerk, and set the tune at 
the close of the meeting.' He ended by express- 
ing a hope that such a * monopoly' would be 
abolished at the date of his next visit to the 

At another meeting, some objections were 
started against the Society for publishing books at 
all ; the speaker contending that tracts only were 


properly within the province of the 7}ract Society, 
Mr. W. Jones rose to reply, and suggested, with 
quiet hiunour, that perhaps his friend had hardly 
a correct notion of what, according to the defini* 
tion of the great lexicographer, a tract might 
really comprise. He then, with considerable 
naivete, and, to the great amusem^t of the meet- 
ing, proceeded to read an extract from a paper 
communicated a short, time previously to the 

* Christian Spectator,' by his valued friend and 
fellow-labourer Mr. G. Stokes. 

*Dr. Johnson's definition of a tract is, "a 
treatise, a small book." The latter, however, is 
by no means a precise definition ; many of our 
old writers were accustomed to call their treatises, 
** tracts," and that without much distinction as 
to size. Folios may occasionally be seen, the 
author of which speaks with complacency of 
"thys my litel tract." Another amusing in- 
stance may be mentioned. To the " Catechisme," 
written by Becon, are prefixed the following 
lines : — 

' Though I be smal in quantitie. 
Yet despise me not, good reader ; 
For perchaunce thou shalt fynde in me, 
That wanteth in many greater.' 

* This catechism, so " smal in quantitie," con- 
tains 542 pages of small folio !' 


On another occasion he was publicly asked, by 
one who had more zeal than discretion, whether 
the publications of the Society were intended to 
be of a Calvinistic or Arminian tendency ; he was 
moreover assured, that, on his answer, would 
depend the support of the interrogator. 'Our 
motto,' he replied, *in the Tract Society is, — 
'* Christians, not parties." If, however, my 
friend wishes a further answer to his question 
I will answer it to the best of my ability. 
We endeavour in our tracts to have no more 
Calvinism than we find in the 8th chapter of 
Eomans, and no more Arminianism than is to be 
found in the Epistle of St. James.' His opponent 
was silent, if not satisfied and convinced. 

It is impossible, in any description, to convey 
an adequate idea of the effects he would often, 
we might say commonly, produce as a public 
speaker. He must have been heard to be duly 
appreciated. No doubt one of the chief excel- 
lences of his public addresses consisted in. that 
great power which he had of bringing the various 
facts of usefulness that came under his notice, to 
bear on the special points that, from time to time, 
he would dwell upon, in pleading for the Society. 
He had few equals in narrating such facts, especially 
any which in their details appealed to the tender 
feelings of his auditory. As a master of pathos 


— Simple, telling, pathos — he has seldom been 
exceeded. And when, on the other hand, he 
would give play to his natural humour, how com- 
pletely would he carry his hearers with him. Are 
there not some who read this narrative that can 
recoUect his humorous illustration of the * strange 
places into which tracts find their way,' ad ex- 
plained to him by a poor shoemaker who onoe 
found such a fragment between the soles of a pair 
of shoes ; — or of the encouragement to persevere 
in spite of every obstacle, assured that 'where 
there's a will there's a way,' as exemplified by 
the poor old pensioner who had lost a leg in his 
country's service, and who, when doors were 
about to be shut in his face, would quickly slip 
his wooden leg in the crevice and pass a tract 
inside? And cannot they testify, at the same 
time, how, after thus gaining their attention, he 
would lead them on from amusing to edifying 
thought, and always close with a warm appeal to 
their affections, based on the love they owed to 
Him who * gave his life a ransom for many ?' 

In the * Jubilee Memorial ' * he has collected 
together a number of facts of usefulness which no 
doubt many of his friends will have recognised as 
those which they had previously heard narrated 
by himself. They are well worth an attentive 

^ Ch. XXI. ' On the Usefulness of Home Operations.' 


peGTusal. Of his success in his appeals in behalf 
of the Society we might easily multiply instances. 
Xiet two suffice; they shall be told, as &r as 
possible, in his own words. 

Many years ago, accompanied by the late Eev. 
WiUiam Chaplin, he went on a tour through seve- 
ral of the western counties. At Cheltenham, Mr. 
Chaplin pleaded for the cause in the Coxmtess of 
Huntingdon's chapel ; and at the close of his dis- 
course Mr. W. Jones described its operations. The 
night was cold, the attendance was small, and no 
interest appeared to be excited. The Deputation 
retired much discouraged, and feared that no 
good had resulted from their visit. Time rolled 
on, when a minister from Norfolk arrived in 
London to solicit the aid of the Christian public 
for a benevolent object. He called on Mr. W. 
Jones, who knew and highly appreciated the 
character of his friend, and promised to visit with 
him a few persons likely to respond to his appeal. 
They passed along Blackfriars-road, and came 
to the door of a tradesman who, it was stated, was 
accustomed to help forward every good cause. 
He was a stranger to both the applicanta The 
object was briefly stated to him by Mr. W. Jones. 
He paused, and then somewhat roughly replied, 
* You are the last man. Sir, to come here and 
collect for a good object T * Why so ?' was the 


inquiiy. * Because the last time I saw you, Sit, 
you picked my pocket of half a sovereign,* Thifl 
was a grave charge, until thus explained. * I 
was at Cheltenham, much afflicted, to try the 
benefit of the waters. My time passed heavily 
away. One evening I went to the Countess's, 
and heard the sermon. You afterwards entered 
the pulpit, and began to tell some facts. Aflter 
listening awhile, I thought ** I'll give a shilling 
to the collection ;" but other facts raised my 
benevolent fedings to half a crown; further 
statements, to half a sovereign. I then left ; for 
I thought I should give all I had with me if I 
remained.' It is believed that this was the first 
time the afflicted tradesman heard fully about the 
Society. Soon after this interview he finished 
his earthly course, leaving the Society a portion 
of his residuary property, which realized the simi 
of £690. The service at Cheltenham appeared 
unproductive of good; but the future results 
taught the important lesson, — * Never despise 
the day of small things.' 

On another occasion Mr. W. Jones was about 
to attend a meeting in a town in the east of Eng- 
land. He was previously invited to spend part 
of the day with a gentleman who had not been 
known to display much liberality in connexion 
with religious objects. The love also of a quiet 


and retired life had kept liim from frequent inter- 
course with the official friends of our public 
institutions. The invitation was accepted : the 
conversation during the 'afternoon was cheerful 
and profitable, and when the time for the public 
meeting waa advancing, the gentleman called 
Mr. W. Jones into his garden and said, * I can't go 
with you, I am so troubled with rheumatic pains 
that I am obliged to keep away ; but here — take 
this for your cause,* — and placed £20 in his hand. 
The sum was so large compared with the dona- 
tions he had been accustomed to give, that it 
called forth the grateful feelings of the Society's 
local friends. 

About twelve months afterwards Mr. W. Jones 
arrived in the same town, to be present at the 
anniversary of the auxiliary. Before he attended 
the service, he called on the gentleman who had 
so generously contributed to the funds at his 
previous visit. He found him much reduced in 
health, and greatly depressed in spirits. In the 
course of a brief conversation, he made an affect- 
ing and solemn remark : * 'Tis a sad thing to find 
out how to live, just before we are going to die.' 
' True, dear sir,' waa the reply ;' but it is a mercy 
to find out how to live before the hour of death 
does arrive.' *rU make it up £100,' was the 
next remark. Mr. W. Jones did not at the moment 


catch the meaning of his friend. He, however, 
wished to add £80 to his previous donation of 
£20, and soon afterwards carried his wishes into 

It sometimes happens, when the last hours of 
life rapidly approach, that the remembrance of 
the past leads the aged traveller powerfully to 
feel * that he has left undone the things that he 
ought to have done.' He,may then be in danger 
of devoting his property to important objects, with- 
out seriously weighing the motives that influence 
the gift. Without questioning those motives, 
Mr. W. Jones, in the letter in which he acknow- 
ledged the second donation, felt it his duty to 
point out the only true foundation of a sinner's 
hope, and to state that our offerings were ac- 
ceptable to God only when they were the fruits 
of the constraining love of the Divine Eedeemer. 

One of his official friends, on reading the 
letter, before it was despatched, asked, * Is it pro- 
per to send a " Lecture on Justification by Faith " 
when thanking a generous friend for his contribu- 
tion?' He, however, felt that the remarks it 
contained could not be offensive to one who de- 
sired to know the truth. The letter was kindly 
received ; and in a few months afterwards a pithy 
note was addressed to Mr. W. Jones, stating, ' I 
have directed my bankers to pay to you £1000 for 


your Society/ Such a communication produced 
a wonderful impression on the minds of the friends 
acquainted with all the circumstances. Not many 
months after this large donation was transmitted, 
the days of this liberal friend were numbered ; 
but by his testamentary arrangements he be- 
queathed the sum of £2000 to the Society on 
the death of his esteemed widow. * How sea- 
sonably/ he adds after narrating the above cir- 
cumstance, * are the wants of benevolent societies 
supplied by the overruling providence of our 
Heavenly Father !' 

( 143 ) 



< For every sentence, clause, and word. 
That's not inlaid with Thee, Lord ! 
Forgive me. Lord, and blot each line 
Out of my book that is not thine ; 
But if 'mongst all Thou findest one. 
Worthy thy benediction, 
That one of all the rest shall be 
The glory of my work and me.' 

The official duties devolving on Mr, W. Jones 
left him but little leisure for literary effort. One is 
surprised that he was able to prepare so much as 
he did, considering that everything he wrote was 
composed amid the incessant engagements of his 
office, the faithful fulfilment of which was amply 
sufficient for the energies of any ordinary man. 

His literary engagements connected with the 
Society, however, were considerable. At the 
first, in 1825, he was, as he expresses it, ^ a very 
humble editor.' He edited tracts, selected ser- 
mons for publication, and passed them through 


the press. He also selected and prepared some 
of the tract volumes issued under the titles of 
*The Prisoner's Manual,' * Artisan's -Assistant,' 

* Christian's Help.' For thirty-one successive 
years he wrote the Annual Eeport, a document 
requiring much research and the careful abridge- 
ment of the correspondence and minutes of the 
proceedings of the Committee. Nearly all the 
circulars and addresses, particularly the appeals 
for funds on the occasions of the rebuilding the 
business premises in 1842, and of the Jubilee in 
1849, were written by him. Some of the latter, 
which are printed in the * Christian Spectator,' 
were stirring calls on the religious public for help, 
written evidently by one in earnest in the good 
work for which he asked their co-operation. 

The following little works in the catalogue of 
the Society were also written by him at different 
times. Some of them, by the blessing of God, 
have been the means of doing much good. — 
Tracts : No. 375. ' The Brand plucked out of 
the Fire.' No. 380. * Jerry Creed.' No. 396. 

* How do we know there is a God,' adapted from 
Todd. No. 524. *The Wedding Garment.' 
No. 561. *Are you prepared for Heaven?' 
adapted from J. J. Gumey. Juvenile Works : 

* I'm afraid I have a Soul ;' * The Flower 
gathered;' 'Not Yet.' Those which belonged 


to the Narrative Series were accounts of facts 
which came under his own observation during 
his journeys in behalf of the Society. 

The principal work, however, of an official 
nature in which he was engaged was *Tbe 
Jubilee Memorial.' This necessarily occupied 
a large jportion of his time. For several years he 
had contemplated the possibility of being called 
upon for the discharge of such a duty, or at all 
events of being asked to furnish the necessary 
materials for such a work. *When, in the 
Jubilee year,' he writes, * such a memorial was 
called for, and it was suggested that I should 
write it, I at first m-ged the Committee to depute 
the work to other hands. It was felt by them, 
that, besides myself, there had been but two 
friends, who were from circumstances sufficiently 
intimate with the history of the Society, to justify 
their undertaking the work, viz., Mr. Stokes and 
Mr. Lloyd. The former of these had been called 
to his rest on the 31st of May, 1847, and the 
latter had been compelled very recently, from 
ill-health, to retire from all active engagements 
in connexion with the Society. Mr. Stokes, had his 
life been spared, would have been a very efficient 
historian. Mr. Lloyd's indisposition prevented 
his undertaking tlie labour, but he promised to 
revise the manuscript.' 



Under all the circumstances in which the 
Committee were placed, Mr. Jones felt it his 
duty to undertake the labour of compiling the 
'Jubilee Memorial.' He was one of the few 
survivors that seemed to be connecting links 
between the present and the past, between the 
early friends and the existing managers of the 

It has been already intimated that the prospect 
of being called upon to co-operate at least in the 
preparation of the Society's history, led him, for 
several years, to collect the needful materials, and 
to examine the records. He devoted his vacant 
hours, and they were but few, to the compilation 
of statistics. This was a long and perplexing 
task, though in this and other matters he derived 
much assistance from the communications made 
by Mr. Stokes to the Society's work * The Chris- 
tian Spectator.' The early records of the Society 
were brief and very imperfect. 

At length he gave himself to the task. He 
always regretted that he did not retire from all 
business engagements during its preparation. 
On the contrary^ he was in business all day, 
and then retired to his room, giving himself to 
composition till long after the midnight hour. 
This labour was continued for many months, 
including the time during which the work was 


passing through the press. The plan and exe- 
cution of the work were entirely his own: no 
one assisted him. Its commencement was most 
perplexing. His room was literally covered with 
minute books, reports, letters, and documents, 
extending through a period of fifty years. The 
primary arrangements were most tedious. How- 
ever, great perseverance completed the task, and 
within fifteen months from its commencement 
an octavo volume of seven hundred pages waa 

The * Jubilee Memorial ' will probably have 
been in the hands of very many who read these 
pages. It is a complete history of the Society 
during the first half century of its existence. It 
is no dry record, no mere statistical account 
of receipts and expenditure, of tracts and books 
published and distributed, but contains a mass 
of information of varied character, all bearing, 
more or less directly on the subject of the volume* 
The first formation of the Society and the prin- 
ciples on which it was founded, — the earliest 
addresses of the Committee, — ^brief, but very 
interesting sketches of its foimders and first 
supporters ; — the Society's secretaries and officers, 
— its locality and depositories — ^its publications 
and funds — ^these are the subjects of the first 
thirteen chapters of the book. Then follow 



acc5ounts of the Home operations of the Society ; 
— and under this head, in successive chapters, 
we have a record of active distributors, — auxiliary 
societies, — the benefit of distribution of religious 
books and tracts as ascertained in many well 
authenticated facts; — the gratuitous operations 
of the Society ; — the efforts made through 
hawkers and colporteurs, or by the loan system, 
to circulate religious truth. Then we have a 
record of the Society's Foreign operations, 
carried on in every part of the world. The 
concluding chapters of the volmne are occupied 
with answers to objections, — and a general 
review of the progress of the Tract Society 
during the fifty years. The book will remain 
as a monument to the industry and perseverance 
of its author. With him, indeed, it was a 
^ labour of love.' Very truthfully does he say 
in the concluding sentences of the preface to the 
work — 

* The compiler of this volume commends it to 
the kind forbearance of the Society's firiends. 
Although the condensation of its proceedings for 
fifty years has been a work of considerable diffi- 
culty, yet the constant exhibitions of the Divine 
goodness furnished by its records have been most 
refreshing to his spirit. In completing the work, 
he can sincerely employ the language of Bishop 


Home, in reference to his " Commentary on the 
Psahns :" " And now, could the author hope 
that any one would take half the pleasure in 
reading his work which he hath taken in writing 
it, he would not fear the loss of his labour. — He 
arose fresh as the morning to his task; the 
silence of the night invited him to pursue it; 
and he can truly say, that food and rest were 
not preferred before it Happier hours than 
those which have been spent in its preparation 
he never expects to see in this world. Very 
pleasantly did they pass, and moved smoothly 
and swiftly along; for, when thus engaged, he 
counted no time. They are gone, but have left 
a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, and the 
remembrance of them is sweet." * 

One fact in connexion with the compilation 
of this volume its author always felt to be of 
especial interest. It was written whilst he was 
living in an official residence forming part of 
the premises of the Religious Tract Society. 
His own words will best describe the hallowed 
associations connected with that spot, — the 
thoughts that were ever present to his mind 
whilst he was compiling his volume : — 

* There are few spots in London more fruitful 
in historical recollections of the past ages of the 
church than the neighbourhood in which the 


Society has been located from its commencement. 
There scenes of bitter persecution, for conscience' 
sake, have been witnessed by our Protestant 
forefathers; and enlightened minds, who longed 
for the spread of knowledge, have rejoiced in the 
issue of some of the earliest publications for the 
young, though they sorrowed to find them 
mingled with sentiments not in accordance 
with " the true sayings of God." They believed 
that these productions would prepare the way 
for others of a better character; and in their 
hopes they were not disappointed. 

* Great have been the events which have 
transpired within a small circle around the 
Society's Depository. Within its precincts 
martyrs once bore a noble testimony for die 
truth ; Wickliff met his haughty and imperious 
persecutors, who challenged him to recant his 
principles ; and Tyndale's Testaments and 
Luther's writings were committed to the flames. 
These views of former times will lead the friends 
of the Society to mark the wonderful changes 
which have taken place in the district, and to 
admire the merciful workings of Divine provi- 
dence, which has established in a locality so 
replete with soul-stirring associations, a truly 
Protestant and evangelical Institution. Only 
a few minutes' walk from this site is Smithfield, 


the liallowed spot where part of the glorious 
army of martyrs suffered. 

* At the west end of old St. Paul's Church 
^ was the Lollards* Tower, where William Living 

and his wife were confined. It was used as the 
Bishop's prison for heretics. Here William 
Hume was slain, after being condemned as a 
heretic for having had a Wickliff's Bible in his 

* On the north side of the cathedral, and near 
the present Depository of the Religious Tract 
Society, stood the celebrated Paul's Cross. 
" Here Wolsey began, in 1521, with fulminating, 
by command of the pope, against one master 
Eleutherius " (Luther). The denoimcement was 
made by Fisher ; but Wolsey sat by, in his usual 
state, censed and canopied, with the pope's am- 
bassador on the one side of him, and the emperor's 
on the other. 

' Not far from this famous spot, and only a few 
feet from part of the Society's Depository, stands 
the Chapter-house, '* where Cranmer, in the 
winter of 1534, standing up before the assembled 
clergy, recommended that His Majesty would 
vouchsafe to decree that the Scriptures should be 
translated into the vulgar tongue by some honest 
and learned men, to be nominated by the king, 
and to be delivered unto the king, according to 


their learning." The archbishop's effort failed; 
but the English refugee, Coverdale, on the con- 
tinent, who had for years been " set to the most 
sweet smell of holy letters/* proceeded to avail 
himself of the j&,vourable crisis to hasten through 
the press a complete translation of the Bible in 

* Next to the Chapter-house, and on the site 
so long occupied by Messrs. Bowles and Carver, 
the celebrated print-sellers, but now by Messrs. 
Hall and Allen, stood the Shunammite's house, 
where the preachers who officiated at Paul's 
Cross were lodged. In the reign of James the 
First, the lord mayor and aldermen ordered that 
every one who should preach there, " consider- 
ing the journeys some of them might take from 
the universities, or elsewhere, should, at his 
pleasure, be freely entertained for five days' 
space with sweet and convenient lodging, fire, 
candle, and all other necessaries." 

* A description has been given of the Society's 
locality as it was, but how marvellously has it 
been changed in the course of years. Now the 
writings of Wickliff", Luther, and Tyndale are 
sent forth /row the same spot on which they were 
formerly ccmumed; and within five minutes' 
walk from the place where the Lollards' Tower 
stood, and the Scriptures were destroyed, is the 


Depository of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society ! Had William Hume seen that bright 
3tar in the long distance^ " he would have 
rejoiced with exceeding great joy." Surely 
.these things " are the Lord's doing ; they are 
marvellous in our eyes." ' 

Another work that proceeded fix)m Mr. Jones s 
pen, in connexion with the EeHgious Tract 
Society, though it was printed for private circu'- 
lation only, was entitled ' EecoUections of the 
late George Stokes, Esq/ It is a brief record of 
this excellent man's unwearied and disinterested 
efforts in ccmnexion with the Society, and his 
liberal pecuniary support of its objects. Its chief 
design is to show how much may be accomplished 
for a religious institution by the well-regulated 
and persevering zeal of a single individual No 
less than two hundred separate tracts, translations, 
juvenile and other larger volumes, appear to have 
been prepared, during the course of thirty years, 
by this zealous labourer in the tract cause. The 
* EecoUections,' though brief, are deeply in- 
teresting. His general summary of his friend*s 
character, and of his adaptation to the work to 
which he was called, is> as many can testify^ 
very truthful. 

* The power,' he says, ' of a single individual 
to do much good has been clearly illustrated by 


these recollections. Mr. Stokes was a man of 
usefiil, rather than of splendid talents. He never 
aimed at objects beyond his r6ach, and, therefore, 
his plans seldom failed. He was naturally re- 
tiring in his habits; tracts or books, therefore, 
were to him appropriate means for doing good, 
and he felt anxious to multiply their number. 
He was a diligent student, and a very retentive 
memory enabled him promptly to call all his 
stores into use. He was not a literary miser. 
He collected knowledge that he might freely 
impart it. His light was not put under a bushel, 
but was seen of men, and gave light to those 
around. He lived not to himself Without 
being fully conscious of it, he so shone before 
men, through his numerous and useful works, 
that many were led to glorify his heavenly 

* And does not this sketch also show the great 
results which may follow, when a Christian is 
" the man of (me important object," to which 
he gives hisl primary attention, and never allows 
other pursuits to interfere with it? A person 
may be on many committees, and yet be com- 
paratively useless. He serves none efficiently. 
Mr. Stokes was the active friend of several im- 
portant institutions, but his attention to them 
never superseded the claims of the Eeligious 


Tract Society, On this subject, one of his 
daughters states, that the earliest recollections 
of his children are associated with its operations. 
They were frequently the subjects of his domestic 
conversation; its publications were on his table, 
and he was ever directing attention to them. 
When he visited his friends he seldom forgot 
his favourite cause. In his walks he frequently 
caUed on bookseUers, and urged upon them the 
importance of keeping the Society's works ; he 
was wont to send them to individuals, when 
he thought they would be seasonable visitors, 
and in this way the Society's interests were often 
promoted. Their advaucement was the great 
object of his life. In reference to them he might 
have employed the apostle's words on another 
subject, " This one thing I do." There was no 
division of his strength, no diversion of his mind ; 
and the results were mighty. Of his own two 
himdred tracts and books alone, nearly fourteen 
millions of copies were circulated, before he 
finished his earthly course. 

* Let then these brief records of one of the So- 
ciety's once active but now departed friends, lead 
its surviving supporters to cultivate grateful feel- 
ings to God for the blessing he so long bestowed 
on the Institution. And now he has removed his 
faithful servant from scenes of anxious toil to 


realms of peace, and holiness, and rest, let them 
constantly remember the words of the Lord 
Jesus — '* The harvest truly is plenteous, but 
the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the 
Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth 
labourers into his harvest." * 

Of Works not connected with the Eeligious 
Tract Society, Mr. W. Jones published at dif- 
ferent periods : * A Brief Account of the Rev. 
Theophilus Jones, of Wotton-imder-Edge, Glou- 
cestershire ; * * Testamentary Counsels ; or. Hints 
to Christians on the right distribution of their 
Property by Will ;' and a ' Memoir of the Rev. 
Rowland Hill.' 

The first of these works was a brief sketch of 
a minister, much esteemed as a powerful preacher, 
who was settled at Wotton-under-Edge, in Glou- 
cestershire, at a chapel built by the Rev. Rowland 
Hill, and who was called to his rest within a few 
days of his friend. This little work was only 
printed for private circulation. 

The * Testamentary Counsels * was written in 
consequence of the numerous applications he re- 
ceived from friends in various parts of the coimtry 
for advice and assistance in respect to the dispo- 
sition of their property by will. The book was 
published, not with the view of superseding the 
necessity of professional assistance, but simply of 

, THE AUTHOR. 157 

suggesting the channels through which property 
should flow. On the former point, indeed, he 
says expressly, — * A will should be carefully 
prepared in the season of health, and after much 
serious reflection. The advice of an experienced 
and judicious friend will be useful. It is always 
prudent to employ a respectable and experienced 
solicitor, or other competent person, for it will be 
found that the first expense is the least; one 
pound paid for good advice may save many, by 
preventing future litigation.^ It is seldom de- 
sirable for a man to place too much reliance on 
his own judgment in matters in which he is per- 
sonally interested. Hence a medical man, when 
seriously indisposed, seldom prescribes for him- 
self. A lawyer does not always make the best 
will as to his own property. In matters in which 
we have a deep personal interest, our feelings are 
not sufficiently calm to enable us at all times 
properly to discharge our testamentary duties; 
and hence the great importance of Becuring suit 
able legal advice.^ 

> On this same subject he says expressly in the introduction to 
his little work: — *The hints now offered are not intended to 
supersede the necessity of seeking professional advice, but rather 
to show its importance. These pages, therefore, will not contain 
any forms of wills, the writer being convinced that such forms 
cannot be prepared so as to be applicable to the ever-varying cir 
cumstances of property and families,' 



The work commences with a chapter on the 
duty of making a will ; and the various objec- 
tions that are urged or felt by persons with 
reference to this duty are answered. Then 
follows a brief view of the law respecting wills. 
The relative claims of a widow, children, and 
poor friends and dependents are then faithfully 
set forth. Several sections are then devoted to 
the claims of * faithful servants,' ' ministers of the 
gospel,' * the cause of the Kedeemer in the world.' 
Information is then given on the statute of mort- 
main and other matters incidentally connected 
with the subject of the book. The appendix 
contains a * Table of the Devolution of an In- 
testate's Estate,' a 'List of Premiums of Life 
Insurances,' a * Catalogue of the leading religious 
and benevolent Institutions existing in 1835,' 
* Hints to Executors and Administrators,' and 
other matters of interest and importance* 

Mr. W. Jones' remarks on some of the above 
topics are not only judicious, but throw much 
light on his own individual character ; especially 
on that trait which was so marked in it — his 
ever burning zeal for the advancement of the 
Redeemer's cause in the world. We venture, 
therefore, to place a few short extracts before our 

The following remarks are found at the close of 


a chapter devoted to ' the provision to be made 
for children.' They show the heart of a tender 
and loving father : 

^ There are a few extreme cases, in which a 
parent may justly disinherit a child, but they 
should indeed be extreme ones. The ancient 
Romans were wont to set aside wills as being 
deficient in natural duty, if they disinherited or 
totally passed by (without assigning a true and 
sufficient reason) any of the children of the tes- 
tator : but if the child had any legacy, however 
small, it was a proof that the testator had not lost 
his memory or his reason, which otherwise the 
law presumed, but was then supposed to have 
acted thus for some substantial cause. ^ Hence 
probably has arisen that vulgar groimdless error 
of the necessity of leaving the heir a shilling, or 
some other express legacy, in order to disinherit 
him effectually; whereas the law of England 
makes no such constrained suppositions of forget- 
fulness or insanity ; and therefore, though the 
heir or next of kin be totally omitted, it is no 
reason for setting aside such a will. 

' The entire omission of a child from all advan- 
tages under a parent's wiU, or of near connexions 
when there is no child of the testator's, can only 

1 Blackstone's Com., vol. ii., p. 502. 


be justified by a few very special circumstances. 
A parent should imitate the spirit of our Hea- 
venly Father when he says, " How shall I give 
thee up, Ephraim? How shall I deliver thee, 
Israel? How shall I make thee as Admah? 
How shall I set thee as Zeboim? Mine heart 
is turned within me, my repentings are kindled 
together."^ If we expect mercy, we ought to 
show mercy. A child or a friend may have 
offended, but has he exceeded the daily seventy 
times seven, mentioned by the Redeemer? Have 
the transgressions of our connexions in life been 
so great that we can deliberately resolve by our 
final act to cut them off firom all benefit in our 
property ? If a child has wandered, may not a 
parent sometimes have to condemn himself for an 
improper example, or for lax discipline in his 
family, or for unchristian severity? Let not a 
testator forget that a wandering child is a child 
still. He should read the aflfecting account of 
the prodigal in the 15th chapter of St. Luke's 
Gospel, and pray for grace to act in the spirit of 
our Father who is in heaven. 

' It may be inquired, what are the cases which 
will justify the rejection of a child, or render it 
prudent only to make a very small provision for 

* Hosea zi. 8. 


him ? It is conceived that the debased and con- 
firmed drunkard, the vile and abandoned profli- 
gate, the licentious and degraded libertine, should 
be made to feel that their perseverance in wicked- 
ness, after many admonitions, has met with its 
just reward in the will of the parent ; but still a 
small provision for the absolute necessaries of life, 
though ^mounting only to a few shillings, to be 
paid weekly, without power of alienation or an- 
ticipation, should be mada This will prevent 
the misery of actual want, particularly in case 
the wanderer should return from his evil ways. 
By this course the child will be convinced that 
mercy was mingled with judgment by his de- 
parted relative. 

' Before leaving these hints respecting the pro- 
vision for children, the writer is anxious to add 
a few words on the duty of being reconciled to 
our connexions before " we appear at the judg- 
ment-seat of Christ." A 'parent who refuses to 
be reconciled to a child before he dies, is in an 
awful condition. How can he be in a suitable 
frame of mind for one who is soon to appear 
before the judgment-seat of Christ? **If ye 
forgive not men their trespasses, neither will 
your Father forgive your trespasses." Let every 
testator attend to the important direction, "Be ye 
merciful, as your Father in heaven is merciful." ' 



On the claims of Christian ministers, he writes : 

* In addressing these hints to Christian people, 
may not a layman put the respectful inquiry, 
" Should the poor but faithful pastor be forgotten 
by his affluent hearer ?" Can he be unmindful 
of the instrument who led him to the Redeemer, 
or who has often built him up in his most holy 
faith ? It is rather a singular fact, tha^legacies 
often roll into the laps of preachers to whom God 
has given a sufficiency of this world's goods, but 
the dependent minister, with a large family, is 
generally passed by. It is to be hoped that such 
things happen for want of due consideration. It 
is scarcely conceivable how such a minister would 
be assisted by an occasional legacy from his friends. 
Their privations are not always known to their 
people* They mourn in secret, lest they should 
dishonour the cause of Christ, by an unintentional 
violation of the precept, " Owe no man any- 
thing." ' 

After reciting two instances that had come to 
his own knowledge of great privations endured 
by faithful ministers, lie adds : 

' The reports of the society for the relief of 
poor pious clergymen contain similar statements- 
of the deep sufferings of many ministers in the 
Established Church. The apostle Paul inquires, 
" Have we not power to eat and to drink ? If 


we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a 
great thing if we shall reap your carnal things ?" ^ 

* A legacy would often enable a minister to 
finish the education of a child, or pay the fee on 
his apprenticeship. He might also be relieved 
from debts necessarily incurred, through affliction 
or other causes. An annuity for life secured by 
a testator s will, or purchased of government, 
would cheer his closing days, and often prevent 
the occupation of the pulpit when the pastor is 
superannuated, A small sum invested in the 
funds would produce sufficient interest to pay 
the annual premium for an insurance on a minis^ 
ter's life, which would preserve the widow and 
her children from becoming dependent paupers 
on the church, and release a father's mind from 
many anxious thoughts respecting their future 
condition. The energies of the preacher would 
then be concentrated on his great work. " Do 
any inquire of our brethren ?" asks the apostle ; 
'* they are the messengers of the churches, and 
the glory of Christ, wherefore show ye to them 
and before the churches the proof of your love." ' 

We close these extracts from 'Testamentary 
Counsels' with Mr. W. Jones' remarks on the 
claims of the Kedeemer's cause : 

* There cannot be one doubt in the miud of a 

» 1 Cor. ix. 4, &c. 



C3iristian as to the duty and privilege of con- 
tributing towards the spread of scriptural truth 
in the worid. It is true that God does not need 
bis supplies. " The gold is his, and the silver is 
Ids, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." He 
will do without the offering that is not freely 
given to his c^use, " The Bccmt measure, which 
is abominable," he will reject. It pleases God to 
accept our offerings, not as a meritorious sacrifice, 
but as an acknowledgment of our duty, and an 
evidence of our personal attachment to him. Let 
not a mistake be made in the motives which 
should influence us. It is a fatal error for a 
sinner to suppose, that at the last moment of 
life he can propitiate the Almighty by the largest 
gum he can give to his cause, St. Paul, in the 
I3th chap. 1 Cor. remarks, " though I bestow all 
my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my 
body to be burned, and have not charity, {i. e, 
love,) it profiteth me nothing." " It is by grace 
that we are saved, through faith, and that not of 
ourselves, it is the gift of God ; not of works, lest 
any man should boast." The portion of a tes- 
tator's property that should be set apart for re- 
ligious and benevolent purposes, must depend on 
a variety of circumstances. It often happens that 
the interest of a testator's estate may only be 
sufficient for the support of his widow ; in such 


a case he may direct the appropriation of a part of 
the principal of his property to reKgioTis objects 
on the widow's death. There are, however, cases 
in which a testator's course is very plain. When 
his children are provided for by settlement or 
otherwise, or when he has set apart a competent 
portion of his fortune for their benefit, then there 
cannot be a single reason why he should not let 
the cause of Christ share equally with them. Is 
it right in a rich man, who has no children, or 
immediate connexions in a dependent condition^ 
to give the great bulk of his property to increase 
the pride and responsibility of those who are 
already rich ? Should not such a man, after de* 
vising part of his wealth to relations^ friends, or 
servants, to convince them of the sincerity of his 
love, give a large portion of it for the spread of 
Christianity, and to increase the comforts of the 
poor, who, while he lived) were refreshed by the 
streams of his hospitality ? 

* A good man, who was liberal in life, and who 
had not withheld more than was meet, when 
dying called his nephew to his bedside and said, 
** David, I have little to give you. I hope, how- 
ever, that what I have left is my own. I have 
not taken improperly from any one. I have not 
kept back from others. I do not leave you much, 
but the little you will receive, will work weUJ'* 


The principle of the dying man was right ; when 
a testator gives to relatives or friends that which 
he ought to have devoted to God, there is reason 
to fear that the Almighty will frown upon the 
gold, which should have been plaxjed on his altar. 
He will not bless the sacrilegious gift. " It will 
not work welL" God can give the command, and 
riches shall take to themselves wings, and flee 
away. There can be no doubt, that when the 
secrets of all hearts are revealed at the judgment 
day, the great cause of many failures and misfor- 
tunes will be ascertained. Large fortimes were 
given to friends to the utter exclusion of Christ's 
holy cause, and the money, therefore, " did not 
work well.'* ' 

The ' Memoir of the Rev. Eowland Hill ' was 
first published in the year 1836. The reasons 
which induced Mr. W. Jones to send forth this 
volume are explained by himself in his intro- 
ductory chapter. In common with many others, 
he felt that neither of the two biographers who 
had as yet written the particulars of Mr. Hill's 
life and labours had given a strictly accurate 
account of his character. Instead of viewing him 
as a man * sui generis,' and in judging of whose 
course every allowance must be made for the 
peculiar times in which he lived, each had 
measured him by that particular standard which 


to himself seemed right, and so, whilst one bio- 
grapher found great fault with him for main- 
taining the slightest connexion with the Episcopal 
Church, in which he was ordained, the other 
failed not to express his regret at his wanderings 
from the straight line of ecclesiastical discipline, 
and his conviction that in the end he would have 
effected more good by adhering to the rules of 
the Established Church. For these reasons, 
neither gave a satisfactory account, in the judg» 
ment of many, of a course which was in several 
respects * eccentric,' and that froi]pi the very force 
of external circumstances. It was felt that a 
memoir of Mr. Hill ought to appear, written 
by one who in the main sympathized with 
that good and remarkable man in feeling and 
opinion, and who could, therefore, more clearly 
explain his motives and imfold his special adap^ 
tation to the station he was called to occupy. 
Mr. W. Jones had hoped that the task would 
have been undertaken by Mr. Jay of Bath, or 
some equally competent person. After waiting 
for two years, aud finding that there was no 
probability of such a memoir so written appear- 
ing, he yielded to the suggestions of friends, and 
proceeded to compile his volume. 

The book is valuable, not only, it is believed, 
as a faithful sketch of Mr. Hill, but iuQidentally 


also, as an accurate account of Mr. W. Jones' 
own views on many points of interest and im- 
portance. With his revered minister and friend 
he thoroughly sympathized. Circumstances whicfi 
have been already detailed, brought him into 
close intercourse with that remarkable man. In 
him he had found the guide of his youth no less 
than the counsellor of his maturer years. He 
had been identified with Surrey Chapel from an 
early period of his life, and for all connected with 
it he retained to his dying hour a real and 
undiminished affection. This was the school in 
which his religious opinions were formed. The 
doctrines which were proclaimed by its founder, 
and embodied in the short * Confession of Faith ' 
put forth by him as containing a clear statement 
of the truths to be preached by him and his suc- 
cessors at Surrey Chapel, were those to which he 
ever gave his steady adherence. And in matters 
of church government and discipline, though he 
was not without definite views, as will presently 
appear from his own words, as to what might be 
deemed the most in accordance with the teaching 
of Holy Scripture, yet would he always sympa- 
thize with the broad ground taken by his beloved 
minister at Surrey Chapel, of admitting all ortho- 
dox preachers, whatever their specific denomi- 
nation, to his pulpit. The words of Lord Bacon, 


which he quotes at the opening of his ' Memoirs 
of Eowland Hill,' well express his own feelings. 

* I, for my part, do confess, that in reading the 
Scriptures, I could never find any such thing 
(one form of discipline for all churches) ; but 
that God hath left the same liberty to the 
church government as he hath done to the civil 
government; to be varied according to time, 
and place, and accidents, which nevertheless his 
high and Divine providence doth order and dis- 

One or two extracts will be given from the 

* Memoir,' in order to show Mr. W* Jones' 
opinions on some very interesting points, and 
more particularly to prove how thoroughly and 
consistently he carried out his principle of making 
everything subordinate to the great object of his 
life, of uniting Christians ' in the most enlarged 
efforts for the conversion of souls at all times, in 
all places, and under all circumstances.' Like 
his much-loved pastor, he must be described as 
one of ' the intermediates ' between Churchmen 
and Dissenters, ever anxious to * lower the party 
wall of separation between them, that Christians 
might kindly shake hands over it.' And what 
he says of Mr. Hill may, for the most part, well 
be applied to himself: — * He must not be mea- 
sured by any party standard. The dress of no 


particular regiment in the great army of the 
living God will suit him. He was never intended 
to be confined within the pale of any church. 
His ambition was not to raise a party, and call it 
after his own name, but to serve all parties to the 
full extent of his power. He was one of the 
irregulars in the recruiting-party, sent to enlist 
wandering prodigals, and to bring them under 
the standard of Immanuel.' 

Our first extract shall consist of some passages 
in which he vindicates, with affectionate earnest- 
ness, the course which Mr. Hill thought it right 
to pursue, in his endeavours * to win souls to 

* Without attempting to justify,' he writes, 
^ all the proceedings of the holy men who were 
the instruments of reviving religion in this 
country in the reign of George the Second and 
his successors, yet the writer admits that he 
peruses their histories with great admiration and 
delight. He would apply to them the words of 
Milton, when referring to the Reformation : — 
** When I recall to mind at last, after so many 
dark ages, wherein the huge overshadowing train 
of error had almost swept all the stars out of the 
firmament of the Church, how the bright and 
blessed Eeformation (by Divine power) struck 
through the black and settled night of ignorance, 


methinks a sovereign and reviving joy must 
needs rush into the bosom of him that reads and 
hears, and the sweet odour of the returning 
Gospel imbathe his soul with the fragrancy of 
heaven." With these feelings he is persuaded 
Mr. Hill fully sympathized, whilst he rejoiced in 
his personal knowledge of several of those great 
men who " went forth mthout the camp," bear- 
ing the reproach of Christ. ♦ ♦ ♦ May it not be 
asked, was it not absolutely impracticable to 
rouse the sliunbering members of the imiversal 
Church without some violation of strict discipline, 
especially at a time when the laws connected 
with ecclesiastical order were expounded by men 
strongly ['opposed to " the truth as it is in 
Jesus?" Under these circumstances the revi-i 
valists of religion had but one choice, either to 
break through the strict discipline of the Church, 
or to let sinners perish in their sins. Their 
conduct shows tliat they valued souls more than 
all earthly considerations, and we trust that such 
men will be found in every age of the Church ; 
men who, like the martyrs, with the irresistible 
might of weakness shall shake all the powers of 
darkness. WicklifF in this country, and Luther 
in Germany, would have been comparatively use- 
less characters, had their hands remained tied 
with the withes of human regulations. The 


Ijord, who hj his providence speaks to special 
agents, said, " Loose them, and let them go." 

* There can be no doubt that a wise and gra- 
cious Providence permitted Mr. Hill to pursue 
an *' irregular" course. He was not to be con- 
fined within the limits of any particular Church, 
that he might, among other things, " bring back 
many of those who had wandered fix)m the fold, 
only because its dimensions were not sufficient to 
contain the multitude." How would these wan- 
dering sheep be reclaimed) imless the shepherd 
left the fold in pursuit of them ?' 

Surely the most rigid and conscientious dis- 
ciplinarian cannot look into eternity, and in his 
imagination realize ' the devouring fire and the 
everlasting burnings prepared for the finally im- 
penitent^ without being determined, in the face 
of every restrictive human regulation which may 
impede the work, to adopt the most zealous and 
enlarged efforts to pluck the brands fi:om the 
burning. The canons of men must never be 
permitted to overthrow the canons of God.' It 
was in this spirit that Rowland Hill again and 
again rejoiced * that he had broken them a thou- 
sand times*' 

* With such views of the times of Eowland 
Hill,' he adds, * and of his special adaptation to 
the station he was called to occupy, this memoir 


has been compiled. The writer having watched 
his movements for nearly a quarter of a century, 
hopes he has gathered up some fragments wHch 
have been left by the biographers who have pre- 
ceded him, that nothing may be lost which has a 
tendency to place the venerable saint before the 
Christian reader. Like his departed friend, he 
has no exclusive attachmefnt%, though he has his 
jpredilectums. He hopes he can love the Saviour's 
likeness wherever it is to be found. Like him, 
also, he camwt consider Chrisfs Church to be 
confined within the boundary line of any one 
denomination. The spiritual people of the Lord 
are his Church in this world, and they will be 
for ever with him in the realms above. " There," 
in the beautiful language of NefF, " a thousand 
times better than in ancient Zion is God served, 
praised, and glorified ; that celestial and spiritual 
temple is formed of the whole number of those 
holy beings who find in God their chief happi- 
ness. The glory of God fills and enlightens it, 
and is reflected from every one of the living 
stones of which it is composed. His love imites 
them all. The King of Glory dwells in the 
midst of them. He rejoices in their bliss, and 
listens with pleasure to the everlasting concert 
of their gratitude. Such is the temple in which 
God dwells : the only temple that is worthy of 


Him. Wliat, then, are we to say of the different 
churches in which the Gospel is preached upon 
the earth? How many discussions among the 
labourers ! How many conjectures and disputes 
about the final purpose of the Great Architect, 
and several parts of his plan, which are known 
only to Himself I Shall we search in this chaos 
for the true Church, — the spiritual temple? 
Would we wish to ccaistruct it of all this mass of 
rudely-formed blocks, and rough-hewn stones ; or 
only of those that shall appear to us to be already 
prepared by the Great Master ? Shall we endea- 
vour lo arrange in an exact and uniform circle 
all those stones that we find in the various 
quarries opened in a thousand places in the 
world; or, finding that we cannot accomplish 
this, shall we try, at least, to collect them into 
different heaps, as men do those stones that are 
set aside to be measured before they are applied 
to the work. Oh ! how much wiser is the 
Master! ^Vhlle some are disputing about the 
excellence of this or that department of the 
work, and while others are spending their 
strength in endeavouring to introduce perfect 
order, the wise Master-builder surveys in silence 
the vast scene of operations, chooses and marks 
the materials which he sees to be prepared amidst 
all this confusion, and causes them to be removed 


and placed in the heavenly edifice ; assigning to 
every piece the place most proper ibr it, and for 
which he has designed it. Such, my beloved 
brethren, is the sublime idea which we ought to 
have of this celestial tabernacle, this spiritual 
house of God, this universal Church, both mili- 
tant and triumphant, the existence of which we 
confess in the Apostles' Creed. Ohl how con- 
temptible now will appear, in our eyes, all the 
proud claims to universality of this or that par- 
ticular Church, as also those endless disputes 
about succession, priestly dominion, and disci- 
pline, which have at times divided believers, 
and continue to do so to the present time. Let 
us rather labour in the quarry, where our work 
is assigned, to prepare as great a quantity of 
materials as possible, and especially let us entreat 
the Lord to make us all lively stones fit for his 
building." '* 

The words in italics in the above extract will 
explain the real feeling of Mr. W» Jones with 
regard to matters of ecclesiastical polity and dis- 
cipline. He had * preference without exclusive- 
ncss.' All his opinions on such points were 
merged into the one absorbing desire of his heart 
to unite all Christians in the great work of pro- 
moting the knowledge of the Gospel of Christ 

» Pp. 25-727. 


in the world. Hence he was habitually silent 
on those matters in which Christians differ. 
Throughout his journeys for the Tract Society 
he ever acted on this rule, with unvarying con- 
sistency. Within the circle of his own home, 
all religious discussions on such points were ab- 
stained fix)m, and alike to his children and the 
world at large, he showed himself as one who 
with the truest sincerity could say with the 
apostle — * Grace be with all those who love the 
Lord Jesus in sincerity.' 

Sympathizing as he did with the venerable 
pastor of Surrey Chapel, it will be readily 
imderstood that for the liturgy and formularies 
of the Established Church he had much affec- 
tion. To some expressions, especially in the 
occasional services, he felt a conscientious objec- 
tion, * If,' he says, * some passages in the bap- 
tismal and funeral services, which have often 
given anxiety to pious and laborious clergymen, 
could be more generalized, they might save the 
feelings of the living, whilst the state of the dead 

could not be affected.' * It is to be 

regretted that some few improvements had not 
been made in the liturgy, considering the circum- 
stances connected with its compilation.' 

It is believed, moreover, that what he says of 
Mr, Hill, may with truth be said of himself — * I 


am, all things considered, for a reduced epis- 
copacy, a reformed liturgy, and the election of the 
minister by the sufl&ages of the people.' More 
than once he mentioned incidentally to his son, 
his approval of the * great and good Archbishop 
Usher's or Mr. Baxter's plan of a reduced or re- 
formed episcopacy,' in support of which, in the 
memoir now before us, he quotes the authority of 
Dr. Pye Smith, But still he ever contended, 
that no system of Church discipline was so 
clearly revealed in the New Testament, as to 
justify any body of Christians in arrogating to 
themselves the exclusive title of ' the Church of 
Christ,' or in withholding the right hand of 
fellowship from any who, whatever their external 
discipline, 'hold the Head, even Christ.* 

With these preliminary remarks we will set 
before our readers one or two extracts on matters 
of interest. The first shall be on the subject of 
' Confirmation ' : — - 

* It is worthy of the consideration of all dissent* 
ing from the Church, whether they have suffix 
ciently considered the privilege and importance 
of the act of baptism. A child is presented to the 
Church by this ordinance, and solemnly dedicated 
to the Lord: but the fact is too frequently for- 
gotten. It is sometimes to be feared, that when 
persons leave the commimion of the Established 


GHurch, there is danger of their going to extreme 
points. Hence some things axe rejected altogether, 
when a modification of them might be useful. 
These remarks apply to the Confirmation service 
of the Church of England. 

* That it is frequently misunderstood, most will 
admit. That it is often abused, must also be ac- 
knowledged; — it- is painful to witness the light 
and thoughtless conduct of many who go to be 
confirmed. An attention to dress engages more 
time than the state of the soul. It is deeply 
affecting to see such persons rushing to the Holy 
Communion, « eating and drinking condemnation 
to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body." 
That this ordinance has been spiritually blessed, 
must also be admitted. A lady in the west of 
England informed the writer, that one, if not both 
of her beloved daughters, had been mercifully led 
to the Saviour's feet by his blessing on the Con- 
firmation service. But mark the circumstances of 
the case. The parents had trained up their 
children in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord. The vicar of the parish, and his curate, 
were holy, devoted men; and, long before the 
time appointed for Confirmation arrived, these 
ministers frequently conversed and prayed with 
their youthful charge. The great truths of the 
gospel were unfolded, and the necessity of personal 


piety enforced.* The young people, with minds 
thus prepared, presented themselves first to the 
Shepherd and Bishop of their souls, and then to 
their earthly bishop. This was like the primitive 
saints, mentioned in 2 Cor. viii. 5, who ^^firat 
gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto 
the apostles, by the will of God ; insomuch that 
they desired Titus, that as he had begun^ so he 
would also finish in them the same grace also." 

* Cannot those Christian denominations of this 
coimtiy who conscientiously object to the Con- 
firmation service^ adopt some plan for the special 
benefit of their baptized charge? It might be 
practicable in the morning of one sabbath in the 
year to consider the duties of Christian parents in 
reference to their children who have been devoted 
to God in baptism. The afternoon of the same 
day might be set apart for the children them- 
selves, to point out their responsibility in refer- 
ence to the special privileges they have enjoyed ; 
and the evening might be devoted to an affec- 
tionate address to the members of the Church, 

^ There is appended to these remarks an account of the practice 
of the pious Philip Henry (extracted from his life by Sir J. B. 
Williams) ' in reference to the improvement of Baptism^ and the 
admission of his catechumens into the Church/ San example 
which (Mr. W. Jones adds) may suggest to ministers the great 
importance of spiritually improving this Divine ordinance.'—' 
See pp. 526—530. 



explaining the duties which devolve on them in 
connexion with the children who have been 
baptized. It is to be feared that the firequent 
lieglept of our children gives our Baptist brethren 
strong grounds for considering that we feel the 
oydiiiance to be one of little importance. Let our 
children be brought i^ito the temple every year, 
and the Lord will meet them there. The sym- 
pathies of the minister and the church will be 
dravn out for them, and prayer will ascend to the 
thro^e of God, that his promises to believing 
parents may be fulfilled in the saving conversion 
pf their beloved offspring.' ^ 

The following remarks on tjie sacred seasons 
observed by the Church of Englaud, are foimd in 
this same volume from which we are quoting : — 

* The seasons set apart by the Established 
Church, ir^ commemoration of the leading events 
connected with the birth, death, resurrection, and 
ascension of the great Eedeemer, were always 
seasons of spiritual enjoyment to Mr. Hill. He 
considered thj^b the Eeformers had shown great 
Wisdom in retaiping those days, but he had no 
superstitious veneration for them. He always 
considered them to be times of man's appointment, 
aud the observ^ce of them not Undmg upon the 
9onscience. In his opinion, it was itnportant that 

» Pp. 524, 531. 


the great events connected with the work of 
redemption should be specially brought before the 
Church on fixed occasions, and [not left to [the 
ordinary discussions of the pulpit. Can there be 
any special difficulty in the way of such a plan 
being universally adopted by the " churches ?" 
There might be special services, without con- 
necting particular days with these services, 
** Every day," Mr. HiU remarked, "ought to 
be a Christmas day with a Christian;" and no 
day can be improper for the special considera- 
tion of subjects so sacred and so essentially 

* Perhaps some Christian brethren, in their zeal 
to depart firom what they considered to be error^ 
have gone to extremes, and have given up those 
practices of the Church which might be attended 
with considerable benefit to theit hearers. It 
was a pleasing sight to see Mr. Hill enter the 
pulpit on a Christmas morning when his mind 
was in a happy peaceful state. The notes of the 
organ announced the Christmas hymn, and the 
congregation were heard repeating-**— 

* Hark ! the herald angels sing 
Glory to the new-bom King ; 
Peace on earth and mercy mild, 
God and sinners reconciled.' 

The prayer was generally the language of grati- 


tude for God's " imspeakable gift/* and his sermon 
an illustration of the truth, " God was manifest 
in the flesh." 

* The wise arrangement of the Scriptures 
used in the Church of England on these special 
seasons, will be seen by only examining the selec- 
tions read in the morning service on Christmas day. 
In these portions of Holy Scripture, the great 
truths connected with the humanity and Divinity of 
the Saviour's nature are clearly and fully set forth. 
The word of God cannot be read altogether in 
vain. It may, therefore, be desirable for brethren 
dissenting from the Established Church to con- 
sider whether the cause of truth might not be 
advanced by the introduction of a practice some- 
what like that which Mr, Hill found beneficial 
in his own congregation." 

We conclude these extracts with some striking 
passages in which he dwells on his favourite 
topic, the necessity of a union among Christians 
of all denominations in promoting the great work 
of spreading a knowledge of the Gospel in the 

* Throughout the whole of his ministry Mr. 
Hill considered it right to sacrifice points of 
non-essential importance, when necessary to pro- 
mote the Saviour's cause; and should some 

» Pp. 574—578. 


persons consider that he was wrong in adopting 
such a plan, still the whole tenor of his life will 
show that he was sincere in the course he pur- 
sued. As long as every denomination holds all 
its peculiar views upon minor points to be so 
absolutely important, that strict adherence to 
diem must be a qualification foi: Christian fellow- 
ship, there is too much of the Church of Eome 
left, to authorise any expectation of a general 
union among " the members of the household 
of fiiith." .... The history of Mr. Hill was, 
as it has been shown, connected with the rise 
and progress of several noble institutions which 
were established on these catholic principles. 
These liberal institutions had worked great and 
important changes before his removal to an eternal 
rest. The darkness which covered the earth, 
began to withdraw before the rising of the Sun 
of righteousness. In India numerous churches 
had been planted, and the Scriptures printed in 
many languages and dialects. China had been 
furnished with imadulterated truth in her own 
tongue. Ethiopia was stretching out her hands 
unto God ; and her enslaved sons in our western 
colonies were on the eve of emancipation. Several 
of the beautiful islands of the Pacific had been 
delivered fix>m savage and inhmnan rites, to 
serve the living and true God; and Europe, 


though still in great darkness, had partly shaken 
off the chains of the Eoman pontiff. 

'Great as these changes have been, there 
remains much to be done before the Gospel will 
be spread throughout the world. There are 
many official as well as moral difficulties to be 
removed out of the way. No spiritual power 
must prevent the Gospel from being freely and 
fully preached in every heathen land. Souls 
must be loved better than the discipline and 
rules of any Church, and our highly-esteemed 
colonial prelates must allow their ministers and 
missionaries " a little elbow-room." Let men 
who " contend earnestly for the faith," who are 
" wise to win souls," and who " travail in birth 
again till Christ be formed in them," be en- 
couraged to ** go forward," and let them not be 
stopped at every advanced step by the spiritual 
police, to ascertain whether they are moving 
strictly within the limits which human regula- 
tions have prescribed. 

* The conversion of the world will not be com- 
mitted to any one section of the Christian Church. 
All the saints will share in this blessed work, 
and the truths in which they agree, and not their 
sectarian differences, will be the means of its 
accomplishment. Let us, then, rejoice, to what- 
ever denomination we may belong, in the growing 


prosperity of every missionary cause. Although 
" they follow not with us," yet we will bid them 
God speed. In such labours, " he that is not 
against us, is for us." Let us " love our common 
work better than our fellow and confederated 
labourers, and rejoice that devils are cast out, 
whosoever may be the instrument; the blessed- 
ness of the achievement may well dispose us to 
overlook some little irregularity in the means." 

* The evangelization of the world, however, will 
not be realised by human efforts alone : — " Not 
by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith 
the Lord." It is the solemn duty of Christians 
to plead earnestly with God for the effusion of 
Divine influence, *' and to give him no rest, 
till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a 
praise in the earth." The members of Christ's ^ 
holy Church must be seen more at the throne of 
grace, than heard amidst the contentions of party 
strife. Sectarian meetings must be exchanged 
for meetings of prayer. And why should not 
this be the case ? Is it impossible in these times 
to imitate the example of the primitive saints, 
who, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, 
were all with <me accord in one place ? And 
would not similar and more glorious results 
follow? Prayer led to the revival of religion 
in the days of Bomaine, and bound together the 

186 * THE AUTHOR. 

little remnant of saints as the heart of one man. 
Let the same means now be tried, and in pro- 
portion as the Spirit of grace and supplications 
rests upon ** the household of fiiith," will there 
be real imity in the " holy Catholic Church." 
The breath of prayer would " raise the curtains 
o£ our distinct habitations," and " the place of our 
tents be sufficiently enlarged " to contain " the 
one fold " of the Saviour's flock. The combined 
efforts of true Christians " would lengthen the 
cords and strengthen the stakes *' of the Church, 
— and the world be speedily brought into happy 
subjection to ** the Prince of Peace." 

*• Come then, and, added to thy many crowns, 
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth, 
Thou who alone art worthy." ** 

\ » Pp. 639—644. 

( 187 ) 



' How many are you, then/ said I, 

* If they two are in heaven ?* 
Quick was the little maid's reply^ 

* master, we are seven.' 

* But they are dead ; those two are dead ! 

Their spirits are in heaven j* — 
'Twas throwing words away ; for still 
The little maid would have her will, 

And said, ' Nay, we are seven/ 

Hitherto we have dwelt more particularly on 
the public character of Mr. W. Jones. We 
must devote this chapter to a description of his 
private worth. It is at home that the failings 
as well as the excellences of a man are beheld 
in their true colours. There, at least, he is seen 
without disguise; — unencumbered with any 
of those conventional forms with which some 
seek, when abroad, to conceal their besetting 
sins, to which at hpme they give imlimited scope. 


At the same time, no where does love bum 
with so bright and transparent a flame, as in 
the inner shrine of domestic happiness. 

In some men there is a strange discrepancy 
between their public and private character. At 
home, they are all harshness and tyranny;— 
abroad, all gentleness, often obsequiousness. 
Something very wrong there must needs be, to 
say the least much insincerity, in him who thus 
manifesto such contradiction in his demeanour. 
If there were any one who was entirely free from 
such a charge, it was the subject of this memoir. 
Never Was he seen to more advantage than at his 
own fireside, suirouaded by Ms wife and children. 
There it was perceived how true an affection he 
bore to all and each ; — hoW fully he sympathised 
with each in any trouble or difficulty; — ^how 

* gentle,^ and 'pitiful,' and * courteous,* Christ's 
Gospel makes those whose hearts are indeed under 
its sway. Even after death had thinned our 
Kttle company, he never, when speaking of his 
family, dissociated those who had been taken to 
a better world from those who were left behind. 

* I have,' he was wont to say> * eight beloved 
children, three in heaven, and five on earth.' 
Were we wrong in prefixing to this chapter, the 
simple yet thrilHng words of the poet wHch he 
would often quote with much feeling ? — 


But they are dead ; thoee two a>e dead I 

Their spirits are in heaven ;* — 
'Twas throwing words away ; for still 
The little maid would have her will. 

And said, * Nay, we are sevea,' 

His marriageb to Miss Cooper, as has abead^ 
been intimated, took place at Lambeth churcli, 
in August, 1816. For well nigh forty years 
they lived together in unbrokeii harmony. Often 
separated from his family, through his official 
duties, for nine months in each year, the charge 
of his children devolved almost entirely on her, 
whose devotion as a mother equalled her tender 
affection bs a wife. Great joy indeed was it to 
all of us, when circumstances permitted him to 
delegate to others, i^ some degree, the duties of 
travelling secretary to the Society, and to spend 
more time in the bosom of his family. The 
description that he gives of the union that 
existed between his revered pastor and Mrs. Hill, 
(quoting Mr. Hill's own words in reference to 
others) may properly be applied to his own 
domestic course, — 'Those silken cords, both of 
nature and grace, were so twined around their 
hearts, and had made them so completely one, 
that if ever twain were seen to be one flesh, it 
might have been seen in them.' 

In the course of years eight children, four 
sons, and four daughters, w^re bom to thenu 


Three preceded, their beloved father to a better 
world. Of his eldest daughter, who was called 
away no long time before himself, we shall speak 
in a subsequent chapter. Of the other two he 
shall tell in his own affectionate words : — 
. * It is seldom,' he says, * permitted in this 
world that the joys of the married state should 
continue long without interruption. The cypress 
and the laurel are frequently entwined. The 
first death in our household was on the 23rd of 
May, 1832, when little Rowland was suddenly 
removed. He was not quite two years old. His 
decease was very imexpected. He seemed well 
and cheerful at five o'clock, and at half-past 
eight, on the same evening, he was seized with 
a fit, and immediately expired. 

* There is no flock, however watched and tended, 
But one dead Iamb is there ; 
There is no fire-side, howsoe'er defended, 
But has one vacant chair/ 

* It was a solemn season. Our child appeared 
to have taken possession of the lonely grave as 
the representative of his family. Happy spirit ! 
how brief the conflict before thy entrance into 
eternal rest I 

* Nearly eleven years afterwards our dear little 
girl Harriet was taken from us, after lengthened 
and acute suffering. She entered into rest on the 


lltk of May, 1843, at the age of seven. Her 
removal was merciful, for had she been spared 
she must always have been a sufferer. How the 
glories of the heavenly kingdom increase by the 
presence of those of our beloved ones, who are 

* Not lost, but only gone before 1* 

As a family we have often been to the grave to 
"weep there." Thither we followed my own 
dear parents ; they both died in the Lord. My 
brother Henry was the only legacy left me by 
my parents, and it cheered my heart to be able 
to help him. From circumstances his life was 
one of anxiety and suffering. He was removed, 
in the hope of the Gospel at the age of twenty- 
five years.' 

Three sons and two daughters survive their 
beloved father. One of them has for many years 
been connected with the Institution which occupied 
so prominent a place in his parent's afiections and 
prayers, and still holds a responsible position 
in the Society. The other two sons, the eldest 
and the youngest, are in holy orders, and are both 
beneficed clergymen in the Church of England ; 
the former being Vicar of Bradford, Wilts, the 
latter, Perpetual Curate of the church of St. 
Matthew, Spring Gardens, in the parish of St. 


Very early in life Mr, W. Jones was called to 
deny himself for the sake of those who were dear 
to him. His parents — ^his brother — his own 
children,— each and all could testify to the reality 
of that a£fection which was nothing loth to do all 
in its power, and, if need be, to suffer much, for 
those he loved. Indeed, the discharge of filial 
duty led him, but a few years after his marriage, 
to incur responsibilities, which, for a long time 
afterwards, were a source of much embarrassment 
to him. Without doubt there was some mis- 
representation on the part of those with whom he 
had to deal in the transactions alluded to, and 
which, for many reasons, it is unnecessary to 
detail more specifically, and he thought it right, 
acting on the advice of others, to file a Bill in 
Chancery against them. He was, however, un- 
successful in his suit, the defendant contriving to 
evade in his answer the charges which were 
brought against him. The expenses of a law- 
suit, added to money already paid, or for which 
he had given security, involved him in a loss of 
very considerable amount. For several years this 
unhappy business was a source of deep affiction 
to him. The daily increasing claims of his family, 
at this time requiring much expense for educa- 
tion, rendered the burden the more onerous. * I 
gratefully recall,* he writes on this subject, * that 


with much self^enial I struggled through my 
heavy difficulties, and was enabled moreover to 
insure my life for the benefit of my family. How 
desirable/ he adds, * is it for persons with official 
incomes that die with them, to make provision for 
their children by the admirable systeni of life- 

It was a natural transition from the dutiful self- 
denying son, to the loving and indulgent parent. 
No one could see him ii^ the nudst of his family 
without discerning the reality of the affection which 
he bore to each and all whose privilege it was to 
call him father, They alone can testify how fully, 
in a hundred little kindnesses shown to them, he 
ever realiased the duties of that sacred relation- 
ship in which he stood to them* His patience in 
beaming with theiy way w^dness in childhood — his 
undisguised joy in all that seemed to give them 
happiness, — his very rebukes, not less keenly felt 
because ever spoken in gentleness, — his readiness 
at all times to advise with them, — ^his forward 
sympathy in ^11 their troubles, — these are points 
in his character which necessarily, now that they 
have been called to part with him, stand out in 
bold relief, There was indeed no ostentation 
about his affection, He never abounded in profes- 
sions of love, but there was the sober reality. His 
children never feared to approach him, but always 


felt sure, that, go to him when they might, there 
would ever be beaming on his countenance his 
* own accustomed smile.' To others he would 
often open his heart about his children more than 
to themselves. A friend, who was present with 
him in the cathedral of St. Paul's, at the ordination 
of his eldest son in 1841, was much struck with the 
deep emotion that he then exhibited. During 
those few minutes which, shortly before the im- 
position of hands, are, in the Ordination service of 
the Church of England, devoted to silent prayer, 
he was powerfully affected, and sobbed aloud. 
He felt, as he afterwards expressed it, that though 
God had not granted him his own earnest desire, 
to devote himself to the ministry of the Gospel, 
in the way in which he had hoped, yet not less 
gratefully did he see it, in some sense, fulfilled in 
the dedication of his first-born to the service of 
the Sanctuary. The course of this narrative will 
have shown how abundantly these holy wishes, so 
often expressed in the early letters and diaries of 
the father, were accomplished in the children.' 

' In a letter written in 1827, when his youngest son was but an 
infant, he says of him, ' May he, like Samuel of old, be consecrated 
in early life to the service of the Redeemer. I hope I'should feel 
it to be my greatest privilege to give up all my children to the 
seiTice of the sanctuary, and that my very soul would rejoice to 
see them engaged in proclaiming the Gospel to the perishing 


It has been already stated, that he was for a 
long time separated from his family, often for 
nine months in each year, by his duties as the 
travelling secretary of the Tract Society. But 
though absent he never forgot those who were 
dear to him. HJs incessant occupations did not 
allow him much leisure for private letter-writing, 
but he ever kept up a constant correspondence 
with home* Though the letters themselves were 
commonly brief, and written amid the hurry and 
excitement of travelling, or public-meetings, yet 
in each of them there was at least some one holy 
thought^ which showed how earthly affection de- 
rived its chastened glow from the heart being 
* set on things above/ For many years he was 
wont to write to his children on their respective 
birth-days *, and his letters, many of which are 
still preserved, are beautiful instances of a father's 
earnest desire for the best interests of all ' whom 
God had given to him.* A few extracts from 
the letters will probably not be iminteresting to 
our readers. 

The following passages are from a letter ad- 
dressed to his eldest son in the year 1836^ a iew 
months previously to his entrance on a university 
course at Oxford* 

* I cannot allow this d^y^ to pass without send- 

1 Aag. 31, 1836, the birth-day of his sob. 



ing you a few lines. But wliat can a &ther say 
more than he has often said before, that he wishes 
you all the peace, all the comforts, and the joy, 
which arise from the hope that you have been 
born again. I think the birth-day is the season 
when the great truth of the necessity of a new 
birth unto righteousness should be solemnly pon- 
dered over. I trust it has been. I trust it will 
be, and that no doubt will remain upon the mind 
ps to the reality of this most essential work. May 
all your future days be days of consecration to 
God, and then I know you will be the subject of 
peaceful happiness here, an^ comforted with a 
hope full of immortality. 

* On Monday I was at Oxford. As I approached 
the city, its spires, domes, and towers, impressed 
my mind in a manner very different to what I 
had ever felt before. I knew that ift ft few weeks 
I should have within the classic city a son, — my 
first-born — a child of many anxieties and prayers, 
and that his next entrance into that city would 
be either for his rise or fall. His fw^, if kept by 
the power of God amidst the peculiar temptations 
of the place,^:r-his risey if he should continue an 
industrious student, determined to improve every 
day by suitable reading, and resolved, in humble 
dependence upon God, to lead a holy and devoted 
pourse. I woidd not anticipate Q,f(dl. The God 


who TioM kept you wiU keep you. He will keep 
you at all times, and therefore I will trust in Him, 
and not be a&aid. But a fall would cause all the 
glory of the city to disappear fix)m a father's mind, 
and ** vanity and vexation of spirit " would appear 
to be inscribed on all its ancient beauties. 

* I give you up to God. May you pass most ho- 
nourably through the university, and become, in 
due time, " an able minister of the New Tiestft- 
ment," calling many to repentance.* 

The following extracts are from letters ad- 
dressed to his son shortly before his final examina- 
tion at Oxford, and his entrance on the work of 
the Christian ministry; 

* I am sorry that you should be in so anxious a 
state of mind in view of your approaching examlna-^ 
tion, but feel full confidence that the time of need 
will be the season when all Strength will be granted 
unto you. I hope you will find peace of mind in 
prayer. When I read your note two passages of 
Scripture came to my mind* The one was, " Thou 
wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed 
on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." The other 
was, ** Thouleadest them beside the still waters," 
or, as the marginal note reads, " the waters of 
quietness." I cannot wish you a greater blessing 
than to experience the full import of these two 
portions of the Divine Word. I think it was the 


devoted Henry Martyn, who had many fears 
about his examination. He however prepared 
diligently, and then " casting all his care upon 
God," he went into the examination hall, and 
came out senior wrangler. Oh ! look up to God 
now. Ask for his '< perfect peace," and then " the 
waters of quietness " will flow even through your 
hall of examination. Go in with holy fear. Go 
in with modesty. Begin in a lowly spirit. Keep 
your mind from agitation. Do the best you can. 
Desire in all things the glory of God. If you 
succeed, let it be to God's glory; and if you 
fail, even then believe that you will better glorify 
God by a failure than by success. Be strength- 
ened by the thought that friends are daily praying 

for you. 

« « « ♦ « 

* This letter will reach you on the anniversary 
of your birth-day. No one will more sincerely 
and affectionately congratulate you on the happy 
day than I do by my present communication. 
May it please God to spare you for many years to 
come, if it be his will and for your good. Look 
back on the past with gratitude, and rejoice, in 
your retirement, that goodness and mercy have 
followed you all the days of your life. You have 
passed through many eventful, many anxious 
scenes. Some of them, in retrospection, will pro- 


duce feelings of deep contrition, but others will 
raise your song to Him who has hitherto been with 
you, and has brought you through many dangers, 
to the present moment. Now thank God for the 
past, take courage for the future, and go on your 
way rejoicing. 

' Let me sincerely hope that your birth-day will 
not only be a day of domestic joy and comfort, but 
also of personal consecration to the Great Redeemer. 
Should you be spared, great and solemn events 
will take place before another birth-day shall re- 
turn to you. Let this thought lead you, at this 
crisis in your history, to seek specially the wisdom 
that cometh down from above, and which is pro- 
fitable to direct. Oh ! let us both pray that now 
you may wisely redeem the time, — that now you 
may diligently and conscientiously improve the 
precious moments which will pass between this 
and your examination in October, and let us pray 
that you may be prepared for the ordeal, and that 
whatever may be its result, your good may be 
promoted, and the Divine glory secured. Be not 
over-anxious upon the point. Do all you can by 
way of preparation, and then look to the God of 
providence and grace to bless your efforts, and to 
grant unto you the desire of your heart. 

' I look forward with holy joy to the day when 
you shall become an ambassador of Christ. It 


would have been a sorrowful day for me to liave 
heard that you had entered upon such an office, 
unless I had reason to believe that you were duly 
impressed with a sense of its deep responsibility. 
No subject is more awful to me than the condition 
of an ungodly priest. He directs others to the 
waters of life, but takes not of them himself. He 
points others in the right way, but like the sign- 
post, he Walks not in that way himself. He 
sounds the alarm, and others flee from the wrath 
to come, but he is overtaken by the storm of un- 
satisfied justice. May you be a faithful minister 
of Christ, — ^taking the Bible as your sufficient 
guide, and regarding the commandments of God 
only as binding on your conscience. May your 
birth-days in future be days of growing usefuhiess 
in the Saviour's cause, and may you this day 
adopt as your motto : — " For me to live is Christ, 
and to die is gain.*' * 

To show how thoroughly he adapted himself 
to the circumstances of all his children, we append 
a letter addressed in the year 1845 to a younger 
daughter, then but ten years' old. 

* You will herewith receive, my beloved child, 
a Bible, which you will accept as an expression of 
your dear papa's kindest love for you. The Bible, 
you know, is the best book, because it is the book 
of God. It was written by holy men, as they 


were taught by the Divine Spirit. This blessed 
book will teach you the happiness of walking in 
the ways of God, particularly in early life. I 
hope you will often read the histories of the young, 
especially Josiah, Obadiah, Samuel, the Syrian 
general's little maid, and Timothy. Imitate their 
examples, but, more than all, follow the lovely 
spotless example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
was *^ holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from 

* Bead daily a portion of the Bible alone by your- 
self. Endeavour to conmiit one verse a day to 
memory — ^pray that a new heart may be given 
you, and a' right spirit be put within you, — that 
grace may be your early portion, — that you may 
love the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, — 
that here you may live to his glory, and in heaven 
enjoy his presence for ever. I give you a sweet 
text, which I hope you will often think on. ** My 
Father, thou art the guide of my youth.** * 

It was not only to hia wife and children, but 
to all others who were in any way connected with 
him by ties of kindred, that he was wont to write 
in such terms as showed his willingness to identify 
himself at all times with their interests, and to 
advance, in every way in his power, their tem- 
poral and spiritual welfare. The following ex- 
tracts are from letters addressed to his sister-in- 


law and her husband, the Bev. Samuel Flood, 
shortly after their anival at Sierra Leone, where 
he held the post of government chaplain. They 
were written in 1823, and show how ftilly Mr. 
Jones' mind was impregnated with missionary 
zeal, and how thoroughly he seemed to enter into 
the diflBculties and responsibilities of a missionary 
life. They are in this respect a fitting comment 
an the course which a few years before he had 
pursued ; a striking evidence of his sincerity of 
purpose when he offered himself as a candidate 
for the high and holy office of proclaiming to the 
heathen * the imsearchable riches of Christ/ 

The first extract is from a letter addressed to 
the Eev. Samuel Flood. After speaking thank- 
fully of God's kind providence in permitting him 
to reach in safety, after a perilous voyage, the 
scene of his labours, he adds, — * You, my dear 
brother, now stand in a responsible, solemn situa- 
tion; sometimes overwhelming, at other times 
cheering. The records of eternity will perpetuate 
your labours, whether successful or otherwise. 
You have a barren desert to cultivate, but re- 
member it must "rejoice and blossom as the 
rose." It is now a dry and thirsty land where 
no water is, but the waters of life will cheer, 
refiresh, and enlighten Free Town. It may now 
appear an unfavourable soil, but it is to become 



" the garden of the Lord." Now the eternal 
Jehovah is s^-ying to you, " Son of man, can these 
bones live ?" and by your labours and the labours 
of successors crowned by the blessing of his Holy 
Spirit " an exceeding greiat army shall arise " to 
worship the Lamb. What a glorious sight does 
the eye of faith behold, when the clouds of un- 
belief are not permitted to obscure the lovely sky 
of revelation ! You see the glorious prophecies of 
the mighty men who have long slept with their 
fathers graduaUy opening— partly fidfiUing. The 
Lamb has long commenoed his mighty march, 
and He will go on from conquering and to conquer, 
until all the world shall bow to his sceptre and 
acknowledge Him to be all in all. Those events, 
great as they are, are all of them to be accomplished 
instrumentally, and it has pleased the Father, in 
whom dwelleth all fulness, to put the gospel 
treasure in earthen vessels, that the ** excellency 
of the power may be of God, and not of man." 
I often think that St. Paul exhibits one of the 
most perfect portraits of the Christian minister, 
and the indefatigable missionary. He willingly 
surrendered up all things, and in his fine, full, 
energetic language he says, " Yea, doubtless, and 
I coimt all things but loss for the excellency of 
the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for 
whom I have suffered the loss of all things." 


He records in the 11th chapter of his 2nd epistle 
to the Corinthians what makes us blush in 
this country when we talk of our trials, and what 
must encourage you to persevere. St. Paul 
preached ; he succeeded ; he triimiphed : he was 
more than a conqueror ; and he now sits before 
the throne, watching the entrance of immortal 
spirits into glory, who, through many ages, have 
been brought to the knowledge of the Eedeemer 
through his instrumentality. Men converted 
through his ministry, from time to time handed 
down the truth, and we shall not know, till the 
end of all things, the extent of his success. What 
an encouraging thought therefore lor you, my 
dear brother, that if you are only the instrument 
of enlightening me soul by your present labours, 
you gain what a World could never purchase, 
and what eternity will celebrate ! What a noble 
host have appeared on the. theatre of 'the world 
since apostolic days, — ^Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, 
Vanderkemp, David BroWn, Johns, Brainerd, 
Buchanan, Itenry,— ^ engaged in the same bene- 
volent work ! Oh, the privilege, the distinguished 
privilege to be engaged in such a labour of 
love !' 

A few Weeks after writing the above letter he 
addressed the following to Mrs. Flood. It con- 
tains a beautifiil sketch alike of the real work of 


God in the heart, and of the duties of the yrife of 
a missionary. 

* It afforded us all much pleasure/ he writes, 
*to hear that you had safely arrived at Sierra 
Leone, and that you were both so well. Your 
beloved parents had much anxiety about you. 
They feel for you as their well-loved child, and 
have anxieties known only to those who stand in 
such relations. The associations in their minds 
are often peculiarly painful; the dreary night, 
the stormy blast, remind them of those who are 
in a distant land. I hope we shall all be able to 
depend more entirely on the providence and 
goodness of our God. His promises are numerous ; 
they are great; they are all-sufficient; but our 
laith is weak. We alter the form of the apostle's 
exhortation, and walk by sights and not by faith, 

* I have oftei^ thought what a mercy it is that 
events are kept frona our knowledge until they 
are brought to pass. The Lord in his goodness 
will not disclose to us our future trials. He 
assures us that "all his ways are mercy and 
truth," that He will " never leave us, nor forsake 
us," but He will not suffer us to look into the 
volume of futurity. How delightful then is the 
assurance, that though our way may be through 
a thorny wilderness, though it will be through 
much tribulation that we are to enter the king- 


dom of God, yet that all these things, by the 
gracious superintendence and providence of God, 
will wolrk together for good to them who love 
God. I often regret how little I feel of the real 
power of religion. I preach about it ; I read 
about it ; but I do not seem able to enter fully into 
the glorious subject. I seem to be a dull learner in 
the Saviour's school. I almost fancy at times 
that I shall come under the description of those 
persons, who are ever learning, but never coming 
to the knowledge of Jesus Christ Nevertheless, 
1 am encouraged by the assurance that we shall 
know if we follow on to know the Lord. Eeli- 
gion is more than notion^ more than profession, 
more than talk ; it is, as the old writers call it, 
the life of God in the soul of man ; it is God 
dwelling in us } it is a virtual, a real union by 
faith to Christ ; it is a receiving of all our in- 
fluence and nourishment from Him ; it is a life of 
hourly dependence on Him ; it is a growing con- 
formity to Him ; it is a dcadncss to the world ; 
it is a daily breathing in a spiritual atmosphere ; 
it is a daily dying to the things of this world ; it 
is a constant, longing, anxious expectation to 
receive an abimdant entrance into the kingdom ; 
it is the evidence within us that when absent 
from the body we shall be present with the Lord ; 
it is a panting after holiness ; it is a life hid with 


Christ in God. If this be religion where is it to 
be found ? May these thoughts produce a spirit 
of self-examination and of deep hiuniliation in 
the sight of God. We all live far below the 
glory of our privileges. How often do the con- 
cerns and disappointments of worldly business 
draw the affections from God ! 

* We often think of the great work to which 
your beloved husband and yourself are devoted. 
May God abundantly bless your labours in his 
cause. Discouragements no doubt you will meet 
with, but you must comfort your husband ; you 
must, you musty encourage him ; strengthen his 
hands, remove every thorn you can. He may 
have many persecutions ; a doubt as to the suc- 
cess of his Work ; difficulty in preparing for his 
public duties ; an unbelieving sense of his own 
insufficiency. Tell him that God is able to make 
all grace to abound (this is a noble word) towards 
him. Tell him to remember how the walls of 
Jericho fell; remind him how Gideon's army 
conquered ; point him to the valley of dry bones ; 
apply all these truths by the declaration " Not by 
might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the 
Lord of Hosts." The greatest preacher can do 
nothing without Christ ; the weakest can do 
all things with Him. You have discovered, I 


doubt not, the happiness of walking with one who 
is bound to the same country with you. It is a 
blessed privilege to be able to take sweet counsel 
together ; to be of one heart and one spirit ; to 
have that identity of interest as to feel that 
"whether one member suffer, all the members 
suffer with it ; or one member be honoured, all 
the members rejoice with it." 

* And now a few words to my dear sister her- 
self. Take care of yourself. Eemember we all 
have an interest in you. Though you are sepa- 
rated from us, yet there are many here who do not 
forget you. I dislike that worldly proverb, "Out 
of sight, out of mind." Though absent in the body 
we are present with the Lord. Though you are 
far removed from us, yet you are none the further 
from heaven in Free Town, and often, I doubt 
not, our prayers meet at the mercy-seat 

* I repeat then, take care of yourself. You arc 
your husband's property; his helpmate. Take 
all your anxieties to the throne of grace and 
leave them there, " casting all your care on Him 
who careth for you." Be careful (i. e., be anxious) 
of nothing, but in everything, by prayer and sup- 
plication with thanksgiving, let your requests be 
made known unto God. " Behold the fowls of 
the air (not of the barn-yard, where there is 


plenty of food) for they sow not neither do they 
reap, nor gather into bams, yet your heavenly 
Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better 
than they ?" You are, I believe, my dear sister, 
interested in the blessings of redemption, and if 
the eternal God has given Himself for your salva- 
tion, what else can he withhold ?' 

It was not unnatural that bne who, at a com- 
paratively early age, could thus, as it were, 
make himself one in interest and feeling with 
those he loved, should be sought as a guide and 
adviser by those who were privileged with his 
friendship. His private papers and memoranda 
show, that there was scarcely a period of his life, 
from the time that first he made a public pro- 
fession of faith in Christ Jesus, when he was not 
seeking the spiritual good of some with whom he 
was brought into contact Extending over well 
nigh half a century, they bear a wondrous testi- 
mony to the unvarying consistency of a life which, 
like Enoch's, was a 'walking with God.' In 
Surrey Chapel Sunday-school he found his first 
Christian associates, his first * fellow-travellers oji 
the road that leadeth to Zion.' With several of 
them he seems for some years to have kept up a 
constant correspondence. The plan adopted was 
this, — ^he wrote to a friend on some important 
subject, and at the close of his letter submitted a 



gubject for the next letter. In Ms friend's reply 
to his question another subject was suggested, to 
which, in due time, Mr. W. Jones sent an answer. 
He confesses to have derived much benefit from 
such a plan. ^ The mind,' he writes, * by such a 
scheme is fixed on a given subject — an interest 
is kept up, and a repetition of the same senti« 
ments is avoided, We all want a succession of 
thoughts on those glorious subjects, which it is 
our privilege as Christians daily to cojitemplate. 
The more our minds are occupied on Divine 
things, the less room will there be for the opera- 
tions of the enemy.* The subject suggested at the 
close of the letter from which the above extract 
is taken, as the topic for his friend's next com- 
munication, will show full well the bent of his 
own mind and his desire * to walk worthy of the 
vocation wherewith he was called ' — * What is 
the general experience of the young believer 
in Jesus Christ, and what are the temptations to 
which he is peculiarly exposed ?' 

To one of the friends above alluded to, for 
whom, till the close of life, he retained much 
Christian afibcjion, a feeling truly reciprocated, 
he writes in the following terms on a subject of 
the deepest importance, viz. what constitutes 
jreal fitness for an approach to the Lord's table. 
Few, it is believed, could write on such a 


subject with greater earnestness or discretion. 
He says, — 

* I have some time felt a very sincere desire that 
you should unite with your brethren in remem^ 
bering the Saviour's dying love. I commend the 
cautious way in which you have acted: many 
rush to the Lord's table the moment the passions 
are impressed, without waiting to ascertain 
whether the work of grace has really commenced 
in the heart. I do not wish to suggest to your 
mind a thousand evidences as to your fitness for 
communion, because I am persuaded that will be 
imnecessary. We shall never be worthy of the 
least of all the mercies we enjoy, much less 
worthy of a participation in the privileges of the 
Lord's table. You will remember those expressive 
lines :^- 

** Let Dot oopscienqe make you linger. 
Nor of Htness fondly dream ; 
All the fitness He requireth 
Is to feel your need of Him," 

' My opinion is, that when a person has had a 
sufficient opportimity of ascertaining the real state 
of his mind, and possesses an humble hope that, 
though he was oncie darkness, now he is light in 
the Lord; that though he was blind to all the 
beauties of the Saviour, yet, through grace, he 
discovets Him to be the altogether lovely, that He 



is precious to him as a Saviour — a Brother — a 
Priest — an Advocate ; that he is happy only as he 
reads liis word, — approaches his throne, — holds 
converse with his people ; — I say when such is 
the case, that he should publicly make a pro- 
fession of the faith, that the world may see his 
determination — that the Church may rejoice, and 
that ministers may be encouraged. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

* Now if this be your experience — if you love 
the ways of God, the people of God, and the 
ministers of God ; if you look forward to heaven, 
not more as a place of rest, than of holiness ; if 
the love of Christ be an absorbing subject in your 
estimation, then doubt not your acceptance at the 
Lord's table. There He waits to be gracious. 
There He will ^aanifest himself to you, as He never 
does imto the world. There, by faith, you will be 
able to see the Saviour sacrificed for your sins. 
** He was wounded for my transgressions, bruised 
for my iniquities, the chastisement of my peace 
was upon Him, and with his stripes /am healed," 
will be your language while you are beneath the 
cross. * * * 

* I love the timid far more than the forward 
disciple. Fear preserves the young believer, 
when boldness and presumption would destroy 
him. I trust the solemn thoughts which now 
occupy your mind, — your anxious fears', — your 


inquiries after the will of the Lord, — will remain 
with you, and that you will find union to the 
Lord's people the greatest privilege you can enjoy 
next to union with himself. When you come 
into the Church, you commence a relationship 
which time can never destroy, and which eternity 
wiU but perpetuate : — 

** The Church below and all above 
But one communion make." ' 

A few weeks afterwards he thus reverts to the 
same subject : — 

* It is your duty to be well satisfied that you 
do not approach the Lord's table until you feel a 
holy determination to live to his glory. The 
possession of pure religion can and will be dis- 
covered by the effects produced ; and the work of 
the Holy Spirit on the soul, though secret in its 
operations, is outward in its fruits. " The wind 
bloweth where it listeth, &c., bo is every one that 
is born of the Spirit." 

' Let me, however, caution you against placing 
all your comfort in the discovery of outward 
evidences of the reality of your Christian pro- 
fession. You will have seasons in your experi- 
ence, when unbelief will remove these fi:om before 
you, and the inward conflict will suggest that you 
have no interest in the adorable Redeemer. You 
must therefore derive your consolation from 


Scriptural principles, rather than from outward 
evidences. Having reason to believe that you 
have " passed from death unto life," let your mind 
dwell on the delightful truth, that He who hath 
begun a good work in you, " will carry it on :" 
.efer 4.ting. WweL. «.. ^ ^ 
through righteousness unto eternal life.' 

Did the limits of this memoir permit, it would 
be easy to multiply extracts from his own or 
others' letters, which would show how willing he 
was at all times to fulfil the office of * a friend.* 
Since his decease his family have often been glad- 
dened in their bereavement by the willing testi- 
monies of those who knew him in various parts 
of England, and even on the continent, to the 
worth and sincerity of his character. There was 
in him a singular conuningling of that warmth 
and affection which calls forth confidence, and 
that calm and dispassionate judgment which de- 
mands respect. Hence, in all matters of difficulty 
his advice was constantly sought by those who 
were privileged with his friendship. With the 
greatest patience he would listen to their several 
tales of trouble, and spare no pains to give them 
his best assistance and counsel. Indeed, so 
firequent were the applications made to him, that, 
at one time of the year, just before the annual 
meeting, he found it necessary to absent himself 


for some weeks from Paternoster Eow, that, in 
his own closet, he might, free from all interrup- 
tion, prepare the Eeport of the Tract Society. 
On one occasion, after a visit from some * country 
finend * at Paternoster Row, which had engaged 
more time than he was able to spare from his 
duties, he said to his son, * I really think I must 
follow the plan adopted, I believe, by the late 
Lord Hill, and have only one chair in my office-, 
which of course I must offer to my visitors* 
When they see me standing, they will perhaps 
kindly abridge their visits/ * However,' he 

added, ' poor Mr. is in deep trouble, and it 

seemed to do him good to talk to me.' 

We have already spoken of the kind way in 
which he was received by various friends through- 
out the countiy, when he travelled for the Reli- 
gious Tract Society. Amongst his friends at 
home there was the same pleasure felt in his 
society. There was a something in his conversa- 
tion which, let him speak on what subject he 
might, showed how entirely his whole heart was 
leavened with holy principle. There was much 
natural wit as well as wisdom in his character, and 
the humour, always refined and chastened, in 
which at all times he could hardly help indulging, 
added no little to the fascination of his society. 
There was ever to be seen playing on his coun- 


tenance the * same unvarying smile of benevo- 
lence/ and whether at meetings of his brother 
trustees or elders^ at Surrey Chapel, — or at the 
periodical gatherings of the members of the Book 
Club, when he was voted by acclamation * auc- 
tioneer for the annual sale of the books, — or in the 
more strictly private social circle, — there was about 
him a cheerful earnestness which showed that 
even in the midst of worldly enjoyments, his 
* affections were set on things above/ Many who 
will perhaps read these pages, can bear their tes- 
timony to the truth of the above description, and 
will feel that in him they have lost one, whose 
place as a fnend, a companion, a counsellor, cannot 
easily be filled up. Indeed many have already 
borne an unsolicited testimony to the feet, that he 
was, in the best sense of the word, a * faithful 
friend' — * firm' — * constant' — 'judicious' — * un- 
flinching' — ' self-denying.' ^ 

We close this chapter with a few extracts 
(our limits will admit no more) from his corre- 
spondence, in which his character as a friend 
and counsellor, appear delineated in vivid colour. 

* He was appointed an elder of Surrey Chapel in 1841. He 
became a trustee in 1845. 

' These expressions occur in various notes addressed to members 
of his ^milj since his decease by those who had been long on terms 
of intimacy with him. 


The letters from which they are taken were written 
at various times, and extend over a period of more 
than thirty years. They will also show his opinions 
on many interesting, and some important subjects. 

Intebcessory Prateb. 

Much should I like to have certain seasons for mutual 
prayer. Let us fix some particular evening in each 
month, when we may make it our especial duty to plead 
for each other at the throne of grace. You remember 
Mr. Saunders or Mr. Scott, and Mr. Newton used * to 
pull at the same string' as they called it. Let us do 
the same ; for how pleasing a reflection it must be that 
our prayers wing their wa}'' to heaven at the same 
moment, ascending like clouds of incense, and mingling 
their sweetness as they are wafted to the throne of the 
Eternal. — Such prayers must prevail when offered through 
the Great Intercessor. 


By the way, what an unspeakable blessing is memory ; 
— it enables us to remember the past with gratitude, and 
so to anticipate the future with confidence. During the 
time of our sojourn in the wilderness it is sometimes a 
pleasant, sometimes a painful companion ; but still, on the 
whole, the treasures it preserves are the solace of our 
afflictions and our companions in the hours of solitude. 
I sometimes venture to think that it will be one of the 
sources of our happiness in the world of spirits, where 
eternal recollections of a Saviour's love will call for 
eternal songs of praise to Him * who hath loved us, and 
washed us from our sins in his own blood.' 



Few enjoy society better than I do, but yet I feel that 
too much intercourse with mixed companions tends to 
vitiate the mind, and indisposes it for better pursuits. 
We need much retirement to keep us in close communion 
with God. Home, after all, is the scene where all ought 
especially to shine. — Home is the place which should 
ever be dear to a woman, whether married or single. 
When we are always panting for the excitement of 
society, it is an evidence that all is not right within. 
A Christian must not always live in a crowd, * When 
thou wast under the fig-tree,' far from human observation, 
* I saw thee,' waa the language of Divine approbation 
addressed to Nathanael. How beautifully does the poet 
sing of retirement ! 

* There if thy Spirit touch the soul 

And grace her mean abode, 
Oh 1 with what joy, and peace, and love^ 

She communes with her God. 
There like the nightingale she pours 

Her solitary lays, 
Nor asks a witness of her songj 

Nor seeks for human praise.' 

Faithful PRfiACHiNG.* 

From Mr. D — we have had much information as to 
the state of religion in your town. It is to be feared 
that many of the emancipated negroes will rise up in 
judgment against their European brethren ; and it will 
indeed be solemn work when they enter into the kingdom, 
but the others are eternally excluded. You have a so- 
lemn and important duty to discharge, and I trust the 

' From a letter addressed to the Rev. S. Flood, at Sierra Leone. 


God of all grace will enable you to make full proof of 
your ministry. Whether they hear or not, you must 
preach the Word. You are accountable to God for the 
manner in which you dispense the Word, but not for the 
manner in which it is received. The longer I live, the 
more I am persuaded that nothing but the warm, simple, 
faithful, and affectionate exhibition of Gospel truth, will 
ever be instrumental in saving souls. A good Scotsman 
once went to hear his son preach, and after the sermon 
was over, the* young man asked his father what he 
thought of the discourse. * I liked many parts of it 
very well,' said he, * but what did you do with Christ 
Jesus V * (^h, father,' replied the son, * he did not come 
in my way this morning.' * Not in your way, boy 1 
then 1 would have jumped over the hedge after him.' 
Now, I agree with this good parent ; Christ must be the 
all and in all in our subjects. He must be the Sun in 
our spiritual system. He must be the Kose of Sharon 
in our garden. He must be the Apple-tree in the midst of 
the trees. He is our justifying righteousness. For my 
part, I know not how to preach without reference to Him 
in every discourse ; and if the mind is under a proper in- 
fluence, we cannot withhold the truth. 

Christian Discretion. 

I trust that you may so * hold forth the Word of Life,' 
that those around may be attracted by its beauty, and 
constrained by its influence, — but allow me to give you 
a little advice. I feel for your situation amongst the 
self-righteous and the Pharisees, but you must manifest 
the greatest affection and forbearance. Don't be disap- 
pointed if all your efforts prove unsuccessful, and if they 
should treat your attempts with scorn. Never court dis- 


cussioD, but always be ready to give a reason for the 
hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. Be parti- 
cularly careful Iww you introduce religious conversation, 
lest you should defeat rather than promote the object you 
have in view— lest you should be casting your pearls 
before swine, and the savour of the Word be lost by too 
frequent repetition. Don't be discouraged if you should 
find yourself overcome by the arguments of your oppo- 
nents ; and when you find yourself at a loss, let silent 
ejaculations ascend up to heaven for assistance. Watch 
every opportunity of dropping a good word in season, for 
Solomon says, * A word fitly spoken, how good is it !' 
And finally, pray continually that your humble efforts 
may be crowned with great success. The Lord does not 
always work by great means, and let this be your encou- 
ragement, * that it is not by might nor by power, but by 
the Spirit of the Lord,* that the work of grace takes place 
in the sinner's heart. 

Comfort under Bereavement. 
Most truly do I sympathise with you, my dear 

on the loss of your little child. Twice has God called 
me to pass through a similar trial. I have two dear 
children in heaven. Though I know the happiness of 
heaven will consist in being for ever with God, and being 
like God, yet I sometimes almost wish to think that it 
will be increased by the welcome of those whom we loved 
on earth, and that it will be no * land of strangers ' to us. 
I recollect, in my own trouble, being much comforted by 
a thought suggested tcrae by a good man, that whilst I 
was on earth praying for the life of my child, there was a 
Great Intercessor above offering another prayer : * Father, 
I will that they whom thou bast given me, be with me 


where I am, that they may behold my glory.' His 
prayer we know, must be wise and good. May his Di- 
vine consolations ever abound towards you. 

The Promises of God.* 

We live in the possession of many comforts and privi- 
leges, of which you in Sierra Leone are deprived, yet I 
firmly believe that God can make your souls as fruitful 
in a desert, as in the garden of the Lord. He is not con- 
fined to places or to means. He will give his Holy Spirit 
unto them that ask Him. If you have His invaluable 
blessing you will indeed be gloriously rich. I hope you 
will daily feel your own weakness, so that you may lay 
hold of God. Dr. Waugh said, in his emphatic way, 
* We lay hold of every arm but God's. We trust to our- 
selves ; we trust in the piety of others ; but not on God. 
We should gripe his arm by prayer, and convince Him that 
we are in earnest in seeking his help.* We forget that 
aU the promises are yea and amen in Christ Jesus ; that 
they are as secure as though we had them in possession. 
Oh ! for more faith — to live by faith — to walk by faith— 
to pray in faith. Then our doubts would fly away, and 
we could as safely trust our God in the storm as in the 
calm, and we could go on our way rejoicing, knowing full 
well that He will guide us by his counsel, and afterwards 
receive us to glory. 

Success the gift of God alone. 

You must not be discouraged, my dear M , at the 

little success you meet with. Remember the poor mis- 
sionaries in the South Sea Islands, labouring against hope 
for twenty years, before the Lord was pleased to pour out 

1 Extracted from a letter addressed to Mrs. Flood. 


hiB Holy Spirit, and convert the heathen. A Christian 
minister must pray for the grace of perseverance in duty 
and prayer, and then all will go on well. Elijah is a 
memorahle instance of this. . He prayed for rain, and sent 
his servant to the top of the hill to look out for the 
clouds, hut none appeared. He prayed a second time ; 
no answer was sent. He prayed a third time, — his ser- 
vant was again despatched, hut no hope appeared. He 
prayed a fourth — a fifth — a sixth time, but all seemed 
fruitless. He hoped against hope ; he persevered, and 
prayed the seventh time, and then there was seen only a 
little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand. What could 
be expected from that ? It was, however, an answer to 
prayer, travelling slowly but surely, and at length the 
saturated earth and the refreshed vegetation proclaimed 
that * the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man 
availeth much.' Recollect, therefore, that you have 
nothing to do with the success of your labours. You are 
to sow, — to sow in tears ; you are to pray for the Spirit's 
blessing, and then to put your faith in the word and 
oath of Jehovah, * My Word shall not return unto me 
void.' The resurrection-mom will show the success of 
all our labours. Oh I could we feel more the value of a 
soul — could we trace it through time into the realms of 
immortality— know its eternal blessedness in heaven — 
its dreadful misery iu hell ; we should indeed, with the 
angels, rejoice over one sinner that repenteth, and count 
our labours richly recompensed if we could only indulge 
the hope that we should have one crown of rejoicing in 
the presence of the Lord. 

( 223 ) 



* Ever the richest, tenderest glow 
Sets round the autumnal sun, 
But there sight fails : no hearts may know 
The hliss when life is done.' 

It was in the year 1851, that the first symptoms 
appeared of that disorder which eventually termi- 
nated the earthly course of the subject of this 
memoir. Anxieties and occupations, such as we 
have attempted to describe, continued for thirty 
years, could hardly fail to tell even upon a con- 
stitution naturally, strong. The perpetual excite- 
ment to which he was necessarily subjected had, 
at length, a serious effect on the heart, and he 
suffered much from palpitation and difficulty of 
breathing. The labours incident to the Jubilee 
Volimie, tended, without doubt, to aggravate his 
symptoms. Temporary retirement, however, 
from business, and the blessing of God on the 
means employed for his restoration to health, ap- 
peared for a time to check the onward progress of 
disease, and to relieve, him from anything like 
immediate danger. 


A heavy blow fell upon him at the commence- 
ment of the year 1852. At the -close of the pre- 
ceding year, his eldest daughter, Mrs. James Board- 
man, deservedly dear to him, became a mother. 
Protracted was her suffering, and more than ordi- 
nary her peril ere she was permitted to hear that 
first cry of a new-bom infant, which so wondrously 
compensates in an instant for all a mother's suffer- 
ings. Unable to remain at a distance, Mr. W. 
Jones hastened to Norwich on the first intelli- 
gence of the danger of his child. He was shaken 
with deep anxiety, and, though God was pleased 
to spare both mother and child, suffered much 
from the painful excitement. But his joy was 
soon to be overcast. A few months passed, and 
by a sudden attack, his beloved daughter was laid 
low in imconsciousness. He obeyed instantly a 
telegraphic summons, and, together with Mrs. 
Jones, started again for Norwich. They found ^ 
their daughter, living indeed, but quite unable 
even to recognise her parents* She never rallied 
from the first attack, and in a few hours after 
their arrival her gentle spirit breathed itself into 
the arms of that Saviour whom she loved so well, 
and served so consistently on earth. 

' Swift was her flight, and short the road, 
She closed her eyes, and woke with God.* 

He was now in the depth of tribulation. In- 


tense was the agony of his soul. Well does the 
writer of these pages recollect — who that wit- 
nessed it can forget it — the nervous agitation with 
which his iron frame was shaken, as he came to 
meet his three sons at the railway-station at 
Norwich, whither they went to pay the last sad 
respects to the memory of their sister, and to bear 
her to the * house appointed for all living.' His 
feelings seemed too deep for utterance. His Hps 
quivered with emotion as he took his children's 
hands. Almost his first words were these, 
' Were it not for the hopes of the Gospel, where 
sliQuld we be now ?' 

And this * hope of the Gospel ' alone sustained 
him. He thought of that brighter world in which 
his well-loved child's * conversation' had been for 
many years, and in which she was now, as a 
glorified saint, praising the * Lamb that was slain.' 
Ere long he trusted to join her, and again to blend 
their songs of praise. As we laid her to her last 
rest in * the Rosary,' at Norwich, our thoughts were 
tenderly and beautifully directed by one of his 
oldest friends, and the pastor of his child, to that 
' sepulchre in the garden,' the * place where Jesus 
lay,' and then to that * garden without a sepul- 
chre,' the future inheritance of the saints of God, 

* Where eyerlasting spring abides, 
And nerer>withering flowers/ 


His feelings on this occasion were well de- 
scribed in a short note to one of his most valued 
friends, Mr. George Eawson — ' My recent 
bereavement, the decease of my much-loved 
eldest daughter, has been a painful trial. The 
waters have been very deep, but *' all is well." 
I have lost a child and a friend, but another 
saint has been added to the ** multitude before 
the throne." ' 

The symptoms of his disorder increasing upon 
him, it was again deemed necessary, by his 
medical advisers, that he should have entire 
rest, and, if possible, frequent change of scene, 
for at least three months. Part of this time 
was passed with his eldest son at his vicarage 
house, at Bradford, Wilts. Under his roof he 
prepared the Annual Eeport for the Tract So- 
ciety, and attoided to many other matters of 
business connected with the Institution. Seldom 
a day passed in which he did not receive and 
answer several letters and communications re- 
specting the Society. 

Many an interesting reminiscence of this visit 
of his father to his parsonage is treasured up by 
the compiler of this memoir. 

He was oftentimes deeply depressed in spirits. 
Two matters principally weighed upon his mind : 
first of all, his recent bereavement, and then, his 


full impression that Ms work was before very 
long to be brought to a close. 

His conversation often turned on subjects con- 
nected with the unseen world. * I used always/ 
he said on one occasion, * to be much afraid of 
death, but of late God seems mercifully to be re- 
lieving me of much of the terror that I once felt. 
It is only, perhaps, when seen afar off that th^ 
valley looks so dark. After all, as some one 
says, it is not death but dying that the believer 
has cause to fear.' 

At another time he compared our earthly 
afflictions to the winds and frosts of autumn, 
which gradually loosen our hold on the things 
of the world, and detach us like the falling 
leaves without much struggle from life. He 
frequently alluded to his fellow workers, Mr. 
Stokes and Mr. Lloyd, dwelling on the decease 
of the former and the declining health of the 
latter, and adding, * May the three-fold cord be 
entwined again in another world.' The words 
of Mr, Stokes, in one of his last communications 
to him, were often on his mind, — * Pray for me 
that peace may be continued to the end. I dare 
hardly hope for it, but all things are possible with 
God. Our Lord can keep the lion chained. Do 
not overdo yourself; as Latimer said, " Tour 



staff stands next at the door, — may it long 
remain there." ' 

On another occasion we had been walking in 
the country, and were standing on high ground, 
gazing on a beautifid scene. The earth looked 
beautiful in all the fireshness and first blush 
of spring-tide. His love of nature was soon 
aroused, ' What a beautiful world is this after 
all, and yet, as it is with a true friend, we seem 
only to fully appreciate its value as we are on 
the point of leaving it.' An allusion was made 
by the writer to its appearance as an emblem of 
the resurrection, and those striking words of 
Cowper were quoted, — 

' A few short mcmths, and all this lifeless scene 
Shall flash into yariety again.' 

* Yes !' he added, * a few short years, and this 
mortal shall put on immortality. The work of 
His fingers is beauteous, but what must it be to 
behold His face. Delightful is it to serve Him 
at his footstool, but how glorious to worship Him 
on his throne.' 

Ofl«n as we visit the room which he occupied 
during his sojourn with us, we picture him with 
his books and papers around him working at the 
Society's Eeport. He loved to gaze from hia 


window on the beautiful and peaceful scene before 
him. The river gliding softly below, spanned 
at a little distance by its old romantic bridge, 
and the rocky steep ascending beyond, crowned 
with its tiny forest of fir and brushwood, were 
features which gave charms to the landscape. As 
we gaze upon the prospect from the same spot 
from which he so often looked upon it, we think 
of that brighter scene beyond the stars which he 
now beholds in the eternal kingdom. 

After leaving Bradford Mr. W. Jones went to 
Brighton, where he staid for two months, deriving 
much benefit from the sea-breezes. He was able, 
on his return to town, to resume his duties at 
Paternoster Row ; and we had reason to hope, that 
his valuable life might yet be spared to us for a 
longer period than at one time we had dared to 

In August 1852, Mr. W. Jones was appointed 
by the Committee to visit the continent, in com- 
pany with Dr. Marriot, of Basle, in furtherance 
of the objects of the Tract Society. He looked 
forward with great delight to a tour through 
Switzerland, the beauties of which he had long 
desired to see. * Next week,' he says, writing to 
a friend on July 30, 1852, * I leave town for 
Switzerland and Germany. I intend to combine 
business and health. Accompanied by Dr. Max* 


riot, of Basle, I visit our leading societies in the 
countries I have named. My medical friends 
hope that the tour will establish my health. I 
use the means in humble dependence upon 

The various incidents of this journey, and the 
information that he collected together with refe- 
rence to the tract cause, were published in suc- 
cessive numbers of the 'Christian Spectator/ 
Before setting off on this journey, the issue of 
which he felt was known only to God, he ' set 
his house in order.' All his testamentary ar- 
rangements were finally made, and he committed 
himself and all his concerns into the hands of a 
mercifiil and loving Father. 

In his diary have been found a few memoranda 
of his interview with the Committee, before 
starting on his continental trip. They are too 
nteresting to be omitted. 

' 1852, August 3. I left home this morning 
at 7, for a long, and I hope, a profitable journey. 
I commit myself and all the members of my 
family to the gracious care of Him who has been 
my God and my Guide all the days of my life. 
May we meet again in peace ! 

' At 8 o'clock I met the Committee. Imme- 
diately after the minutes were read, I stated the 
arrangements that had been partially made by 


Dr. Marriot. I requested instruction. Eesolu- 
tions were passed giving me authority to visit 
the places mentioned by Dr. Marriot, and any 
others we might think proper. Just as I was 
leaving for Chevalier Bunsen's, the Prussian 
ambassador, who had most kindly invited me to 
breakfast previously to my starting for Germany, 
Mr. Sandoz made a few veiy kind remarks, and 
suggested special prayer in my behalf. Mr. 
Green, the oldest member of the Committee 
present, was requested to approach the Throne 
of Grace. His prayer was indeed kind, — it was 
melting. I felt much overpowered, and could 
not address the Committee afterwards. All took 
an affectionate farewell. Oh! how good and 
pleasant a thing it is for brethren thus to dwell 
in unity. The conduct of the Committee has 
always been most affectionate, but never more so 
than on this occasion.' 

He derived much apparent benefit jfrom his 
continental tour. For some months after his 
return, the dangerous symptoms which caused us 
so much anxiety were materially modified. In 
March 1853, however, they re-appeared, and 
convinced us that though held for a time in 
abeyance, the active principles of disease were 
working gradually and surely within. The advice 
of an eminent physician was sought, and his 


opinion was clear and decided. He felt that 
there was a confirmed disease of the heart, and 
fidthfully told members of his family that Mr. 
W. Jones's work was well-nigh over. He 
strongly insisted on the importance of his ab- 
staining from every scene of excitement, and 
desisting as much as possible from all laborious 

Though unwilling, for the love he bore the 
Society, to contemplate the possibility of his 
retirement from active duties, he had now a 
stronger impression than ever that his days of 
pleasant toil in its behalf were rapidly drawing 
to a close. He felt that though he might have a 
respite for a time, yet that his was ' a sickness 
imto death.' The very conditions imposed upon 
him by his medical advisers seemed, in his 
moments of depression, to be an indication that it 
was his duty to resign a position, the duties of 
which he was no longer able to fulfil. The 
great kindness of the Committee, however, from 
time to time disarmed him of all his scruples. 
When unable to go to Paternoster Row, he worked 
for the Society at home. Hardly a day passed, 
even whilst he was confined to his house, in 
which he did not vnite several letters or transact 
some business for the Institution. 

It was whilst he was thus depressed, under 


the consciousness that his work was well nigh 
over, that he received the intelligence (April 
1853) of the removal of his much loved friend 
and fellow-labourer Mr. W. F. Lloyd, who, some 
years before, had been compelled from ill health 
to retire from his active duties in connexion with 
the Society. It was to him a token that his own 
days also were numbered. The * threefold cord ' 
was well nigh disentwined. Who could tell how 
aocn the three friends, who so long and so 
zealously laboured together on earth, might be 
re-united in a better world ? 

There were many lesser incidents, almost 
unnoticed at the time, upon which we now 
look back as indications of the strong impression 
that occupied his mind that his pilgrimage was 
well nigh jfinished. The subjects of his con- 
versations and of his letters were, to a great 
extent, on topics having reference to the unseen 
world. Great too was his anxiety to complete 
all matters of business in which he was either 
a trustee or executor. Papers and documents 
that had from time to time been entrusted to 
his care were now returned to their owners. 
He wished as far as possible to disentangle 
himself from all earthly cares, that so he might 
await with patience the will of his Heavenly 


It was now too that he clung more than ever 
to that Word of God which alone can comfort 
us in all our tribulation, He had always loved 
that Word, but never did he seem to realise more 
completely than now^ the psalmist's expression — 
* In thy Word is my hope.' * It is very instruc- 
tive,' says Dr. Wardlaw, * to see how minds 
of the largest grasp and mightiest power, when 
they come to the hour of trial and final decision, 
When passing through the valley of the shadow 
of death, anticipating eternity, and conflicting 
single-handed with the last enemy, have recourse 
to the same simple elements of Divine truth 
that are the springs of peace to the very weakest 
of the babes in Christ.'^ As * the greatest and 
the least stand on the same ground of condemna- 
tion, they must stand also on the same ground 
of acceptance;' — *each when he comes to the 
test of a dying hour is shut up to the simplicity 
of " the faithful saying." ' The Bible was the 
one book to which Mr. William Jones clung as he 
saw the eventide of life drawing on apace. He 
was latterly accustomed to read with a pencil 
in his hand, and mark any passage that particu-* 
larly struck him. To many there is a double 
mark — they are almost invariably some of God's 

' See the whole passage quoted in * Reminiscences of George 
Stokes, Esq.,* p. 61. 


merciful promises to be with his servants even to 
the end. 

A straw shows th^ direction of the current. 
Just so, very trifles denote the bent of the mind. 
Let any one read the following passages of Holy 
Scripture, all of them especially marked as below 
in Mr. W. Jones' Bible, and they will perceive 
how clearly his thoughts were directed to another 
world into which he was soon to enter. 

* My soul foUoweth hard after Thee : thy right 
hand upholdeth me.' — Psahn Ixiii. 8. 

' Thou hast also given me the shield of thy 
salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me 
up, and thy gentleness hath made me .great.' — 
Psalm xviii. 35. 

* Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us 
with benefits, even the God of our salvation. He 
that is our God is the God of salvation; and 
unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.* 
—Psahn Ixviii. 19, 20! 

' Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and 
afterward receive me to glory. Whom have 
I in heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon 
earth that I desire beside Thee. My flesh and 
my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my 
heart, and my portion for ever.' — Psalm Ixxiii. 

* For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 


For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a 
desire to depart, and to be with Christ ; which is 
far better/— Phil, i. 21, 23. 

* For indeed he was sick nigh unto death : but 
God had mercy on him ; and not on him only, 
but on me also, lest 1 should have sorrow upon 
sorrow.' — Phil. ii. 27. 

* My God shall supply all your need according 
to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. — Phil. iv. 

' Wherefore he is able also to save them to the 
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing He 
ever liveth to make intercession for them.' — 
Heb. vii. 25. 

How clearly do such texts as these show the 
thoughts of his heart — thoughts which were beau- 
tifully embodied in a hymn which, towards the 
close of his life, was always sung in his family 
every Sunday evening before retiring to rest, 
and the third stanza of which he would often 
quote as truly sublime in its simplicity. 

' Sun of my soul I tbou Saviour dear, 
It is not night if Thou be near ; 
may no earth-bom cloud arise 
To hide Thee from thy servant's eyes. 

' When the soft dews of kindly sleep 
My wearied eyelids gently steep, 
Be my last thought how sweet to rest 
For ever on my Saviour's breast. 


* Abide with me from mom till eve, 
For without Thee I cannot live ; 
Abide with me when night is nigh, 
For without Thee I dare not die. 

* Come near and bless us when we wake. 
Ere through the world our way we take ; 
Till in the ocean of thy love 

We lose ourselves in heaven above.* ' 

The course of this narrative will have shown 
our readers that next to the Eeligious Tract 
Society, the well-being of Surrey Chapel occupied 
a chief place in Mr. W. Jones's affections. With 
this place of worship he had now been connected 
for more than forty years. It was most natural, 
therefore that on the retirement* of the Eev. J. 
Sherman from his office as minister of the chapel, 
he should feel much anxiety concerning a suc- 
cessor. Mr. W. Jones was deputed, together 
with a co-trustee, his old and valued friend Mr. 
Churchill, to go down to Hull in February, 1854, 
to request the Eev. Newman Hall to accept the 
vacant post. Great was his satisfaction at the 
successful residt of his journey when again he 
saw * Surrey settled with a minister.' Increas- 
ing illness prevented him henceforth from often 

1 He repeatedly towards the close of life asked one of his 
daughters to play and sing Mendelsshon's beautiful air in the 
oratorio of Elijah, adapted to the words, ' rest in the Lord, wait 
patiently on Him, and He shall giTe thee thy heail*s desire.' 


viflidng the cbapel, on acoount of its distance 
from his residence ; and, when thus hindered, he 
commonly attended the ministry of the Bev. C. 
Kemble, at St. Michael's Church, Stockwell. 
Most truly, however, did Mr. Newman Hall 
express his feelings towards Surrey Chapel, when 
he wrote to him, in a note received a few weeks 
only before his decease, * I know that you are 
one of those who, whether amongst us or de- 
tained at home, never cease to '* pray for the 
peace of Jerusalem." ' And most deeply did he 
and his family appreciate the kindly affection 
that could add, — ' It is your happiness to feel 
in a Father's hand, and to have a Father's house 
to step into the moment when it is most de- 
sirable, when further continuance here would be 
of no further benefit to you« It is well that 
our times are in his hand. I am sure if it were 
not so, we should keep t/ou out of heaven longer 
than you would like.' 

As months passed on, and his attacks became 
more frequent and severe, he was often compelled 
to remain at home instead of going to Paternoster 
Bbw. Though he was still working for the 
Society during all seasons of alleviation from suf- 
fering, yet his great anxiety was to be at his post. 
Often have we seen him standing at the window, 
watching the public conveyances as they took one 


after another of his neighbours to their respective 
places of business, and sighing that he was de- 
barred from that privilege himself. Especially 
on the Tuesday morning, when the Committee 
meeting was held, did he feel the privation. His 
own description of these happy meetings in the 
* Jubilee Memorial** shows that he had good 
cause to regret his constrained absence from them. 
He once said to his eldest son, when referring to 
his weak and precarious state, which compelled 
him at times to forego the privilege of being 
present at the meetings of the Committee, that 
he was now fully able to enter into the meaning 
of Mr, Townsend's beautiful remark under cir- 
cumstances not altogether dissimilar — * It is hard 
to give up working in the service of such a 

^ See * Jubilee Memorial/ pp. 66, 69. 

' ' A beautiful incident in reference to Mr. Townsend is men- 
tioned in the life of the Rev. John Campbell : Finding him on 
Tuesday morning, shortly before his last illness, leaning on the 
balustrade of the staircase that led to the Committee-room of 
the Tract Society, and scarcely able to breathe, I remarked : '* Mr. 
Townsend, is this you ? Why should you come in this state of 
'body to our meetings? You have now attended them for a long 
time, and you should leave the work to younger men." The 
reply of Mr. Townsend was worthy of his character. Looking ot 
his friend, with a countenance brightened and elevated by the 
thought that was struggling for utterance, his words were, ** 0„ 
Johnny, Johnny man, it is hard to give up working in the service 
of such a Master,'* '^-^ubilee Memorial, p. 59. 


It was in the month of April, 1854, that his 
disease assumed its most fatal form, and in the 
following August his family were gathered round 
him to receive his blessing, and bid him their 
long farewell. To the surprise of all he rallied, 
and was enabled, as soon as the violence of the 
attack had abated, to share with his entire family 
the participation of the Holy Sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper. It was indeed a solemn season. 
He was deeply affected. When we rose from our 
knees, he tried to express his thankfulness for so 
great a privilege, and his earnest hope that it 
might be a prelude to our assembling, as an un- 
broken family, at the marriage supper of the Lamb. 
He could, however, utter but a few broken sen- 
tences. The effect was too great for his enfeebled 
frame, and he could only find relief in tears. 
Several times afterwards, he referred to his enjoy- 
ment of this sacred season. 

Thankful for these merciful respites, he was 
nevertheless fully aware that every attack was 
gradually wasting somewhat of his remaining 
strength. As life seemed to be drawing nearer 
to its close, his family can recall the many occa- 
sions in which the flame of affection seemed to 
kindle the more brightly towards them. It was 
now that he told them in all simplicity the tale 
of his life, and dwelt thankfiilly ' on all the way 


which the Lord had led him in the wilderness/ 
So habitually did he practice self-renunciation, 
that much of it was unknown, some even till after 
his decease, to his own children/ He felt that 
much vanity was displayed by those who would 
often dwell on the success which God had vouch- 
safed to them, and were tempted at times to 
heighten the back ground of early life, in order 
to throw out in bolder relief the position to which 
they had in after years attained. He spoke of 
himself as the * child of Providence,' who had 
been led from step to step, often by * a way that 
he knew not,' and by * paths that he looked not 
for.' And to Him, who all along had been hig 
Guide and Friend, he ascribed all the glory. 

The feelings that were uppermost in his mind, 
are well described in letters, which, about this 
time, he wrote to his eldest son. * I am anxious,' 
he writes (August 30,) * to send a few lines to 

^ An instance of this habit of self-renunciation occurred a short 
time before Mr. W. Jones* decease. In an interview with the 
Re7. Newman Hall the conversation turned on the life and labours 
of Rowland Hill. He was able to give much information of an in- 
teresting nature in reply to Mr. Hall's enquiries, both from personal 
recoUecticm, and also from the Memoir which he had written. 
Portly after Mr. HalPs departure, he was asked by his daughter, 

* Why did you not ^ve him a copy of your Life of Rowland Hill ? 
I think he would have been pleased/ * My child,' was his reply, 

* how could I be 80 vain as to present him with a copy of my own 



congratulate you on the return of your birth-day, 
which, I remember, will be to-morrow. I am 
truly thankful that your life and health have been 
mercifully preserved to the present time, and my 
fervent prayer is that you may still long be spared 
for the benefit of your much-loved family, and the 
parish over which, in the good providence of God, 
you have been placed. For myself, I can now 
truly assure you, that, whether in health or sick- 
ness, the great privilege is to be constantly pre- 
pared for all the will of God. I am glad to say 
that in health I continue about the same as when 
you left At least I am easier, and that is a 
mercy. I leave the luture entirely with the 
Lord. He is able to restore, or He is able to sus- 
tain. My old verse still suits me, — 

" Father, I wait thy daily will, 
Thou shalt divide my portion still ; 
Grant me on eaith what seems Thee best. 
Till death and heaven reveal the rest." ' 

Again writing, November 23, he says, — * I 
continue to enjoy, /or me, a good portion of health. 
I am, liowever, obliged to "rejoice with trembling." 
Sometimes I feel depressed, but generally calm 
and happy. The good people at the breakfast 
table this morning, were in a state of surprise 
when I joined them, — they heard notes of praise 
from some one coming down stairs. Well, I 


ought to offer up loud notes of praise, for " good- 
ness and mercy have followed me all the days of 
my life." I was humming, as I left my room, 
your dear wife's favourite Psalm, 

•* My soul, praise the Lord, 
Speak good of his name," — 

* Your church-chimes, she once told me, struck 
up this beautiful tune just as your last-born en- 
tered the world. I hope this will be the song of 
our families, until the praises of earth are ex- 
changed for the songs of heaven.' 

The last letter that he wrote to his eldest son, 
was dated March 8tL He says in it, * There are 
times when I feel much depression. Accustomed 
as I have been to an active life, the quietness of 
home all day, and day after day, and week after 
week, is distressing to me. My heart is much 
too active, the pulse is at 90 instead of 70, and so 
I am compelled to avoid all excitement I am 
cut off fix)m all intercourse with friends, but I 
have no cause for complaint. I have many, manyy 
blessings. The beautiful words of the Psalmist 
should be my daily song, ** He crowneth me with 
Icmng kindness and tend&r mercy." Sometimes I 
feel these words. I wish at all times to sing them 
without a faltering note.' 

After many lesser warnings, he was seized with 
a violent paroxysm on Friday morning, the 9th 



of March. He had just completed the foreign 
part of the thirty-first Report which he had written 
for the Religious Tract Society. The attack was 
most sudden, and from it he never rallied. The 
heart continued in a state of almost unabating 
palpitation, and every moment seemed often to 
be his last. It pleased God, however, to lay upon 
him protracted suffering. Day after day showed 
greater weakness, and his once strong and power- 
ful frame was by degrees shrunk and withered 
into the helplessness of infancy. The dropsy 
following, as the natural result of the disease 
imder which he suffered, caused him great and 
increasing distress. *What a time would this 
have been for turning to God,' he once exclaimed, 
when suffering under acute pain, and a sense of 
exhaustion for which no skill of man could find a 

It was now that he requested an interview with 
Mr. Saffery, who had succeeded him as travelling 
secretary of the Tract Society, in order that he 
might hand over to him the manuscript of the 
annual Report, as far as he had finished it, and 
communicate his views to him as to what was re- 
quisite for its completion. With great clearness 
and self-possession, though in much weakness of 
body, he imparted all necessary information re- 
specting it, and indicated his views as to the 


character of the resolutions which should be sub- 
mitted to the annual meeting. He then said with 
much solemnity, ' There may he one fact more to 
be added to the " Home Proceedings." He alluded 
to his own decease, which he felt was near. Well 
was it remarked that ' the ink was hardly dry in 
his pen, ere the writer of the Eeport was called to 
his rest.' To the very last he ' devoted his sink- 
ing energies, and proved his unabated affection to 
a cause which had become endeared to him by a 
connexion of more than thirty-five years.' 

It was not often, during the latter part of his 
illness, that his mind was sufficiently collected, 
so constant were his sufferings, to bear decisive 
testimony to the Saviour; but his family are 
cheered by the recollection, that through a long 
life of energy and devotion, men had taken know- 
ledge of him, that he had been with Jesus. It 
was their constant privilege to witness his lips 
moving in silent prayer, while his frequent use of 
the shorter Litany in the service of the Church 
of England showed how he had learned with the 
Publican, that God's mercy in Christ and his own 
unworthiness, should be the absorbing topics of 
his dying contemplation. 

He frequently asked that short passages of 
Holy Scripture might be read to him. More than 
once he expressly selected the 23rd Psalm, in 


which the love of the Good Shepherd for his 
chosen flock, even to the end, is so beautifully- 
portrayed. The 17th chapter of St. John's 
Gospel was another portion of God's word in 
which he found especial comfort; he would 
pause awhile at * the Great Intercessor's prayer,' 
* Father, I will, that they also whom thou hast 
given me, be with me where I am^ that they 
may behold my glory.' When portions of the 
8th Chapter of the Epistle to the Eomans were 
read to him, he added, with deep feeling, * No 
condemnation, — no separation.'^ Once in his 
brighter moments, when every cloud seemed to 
have passed away, he asked that there might be 
read to him St. John's glowing description of the 
heavenly Jerus^-lem ; — his whole face was lighted 
up with holy joy as we read, * And I heard a 
great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the 
tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell 
with them, and they shall be his people, and God 

^ In his * Brief Account of the Rev. Theophilus Jones,* is fonnd 
a passage which probably suggested this remark : — * He was 
anxious at all times to lead believers to live in the enjoyment of 
their privileges, taking care to show that only believers were 
entitled to the consolations of the gospel. "There is now no 
condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, and who walk not 
after the flesh, but after the Spirit," was a subject he loved to 
dwell upon. How frequently would he exclaim, " Oh 1 what a 
chapter is the eighth of the Romans ; it begms with * No con- 
demnation,' and ends with ' No separation.' 

> >» » 


himself shall be with them, and be their God. 
And God shall wipe away all tears fix)m their 
eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither 
sorrow, nor crying, neither shall ^there'be any 
more pain.' 

It was often a source of deep pleasure to him 
to listen to the recital of stanzas of some of his 
favourite h3anns. Oijfe in particular was often 
repeated to him, a composition by his revered 
minister, the Rev. Rowland Hill, seldom sur- 
passed for beauty of expression, or true Christian 
lowliness, — 

* Dear Friend of friendless sinners, hear, 

And magnify thy grace' divine; 
Pardon a worm that would draw near, 

That would himself to Thee resign — 
A worm by self and sin possessed. 
That pants to reach thy promised rest. 

* Thou sayest Thou wilt thy servants keep 

In perfect peace, whose minds shall be. 
Like new-bom babes or helpless sheep, 

Completely stayed, dear Lord, on Thee : 
How calm their state, how truly blest, 
Who tiust on Thee, the promised rest, 

* Bid the tempestuous rage of sin, 

With all its wrathful fury, die ; 
Let the Redeemer dwell within. 

And turn my sorrows into joy : 
Oh naay my heart, by Thee possessed. 
Know Thee to be my promised rest.* 

^ Of this hymo, after quoting the two remaining stanzas, Mr. W. Jones 
says, in his Life of Rev. Rowland Hill (p. 5tl) :— ' No one acquainted with 


It has been already intimated, that from the 
nature of his disease, he was seldom able to enter 
into conversation even with his beloved wife or 
children. It may often be observed, how mer- 
cifully God deals with his people according to 
their several necessities. When, during life, the 
lips may have been closed, even though the heart 
may have been deeply impressed, he enables the 
dying saint to break through the restraint in 
which he has been held, and to bear full tes- 
timony to his love for the Saviour. On the 
other hand, when a life has been dedicated to 
his service, and we may indeed cherish ' a sure 
and certain hope ' of the acceptance of a dying 
saint, God will often show us, in the utter help- 
lessness of man, how entirely, from first to last, 
in Him alone is our help to be found. In the 
case before us, there was far more of trust than 
of trimnph in the closing scene. Our much- 
loved father was privileged with none of that 
thrilling feeling of joy and triumph, which some 

Mr. Hill can read this hymn without seeing before him the image of the 
writer in his happiest moments, when his mind was sweetly and graciously 
subdued by the power of the Divine Spirit. If I am asked for a description 
of Mr. Hill when *• it was well with him," I should just read this short 
composition. It possesses the pathos of the excellent man when he left 
the footstool of mercy and immediately ascended the sacred desk.' Truly 
remarks Mr. Sidney, ' The hymn entitled " A Prayer for the Promised 
Rest," was, he considered, the best he ever wrote : it has been repeated 
with a holy joy by many of his flock In the approach of death.'— Irt/« of 
Sev, BovEHand BiU, p. 216. 


dying believers experience. He entered heaven 
in the garb of a lowly pilgrim, leaning, simply 
and wholly, on the arm of his loving Guide and 
Saviour. ' Do not,' he once said to his son, ' put 
a long inscription on my tomb-stone. Write 
only, " Gone horm^^ — or *' By grace are ye saved 
through faith." ' 

Like other men of God, he endured more than 
once bitter conflicts with the powers of darkness. 
They can never be forgotten by those who wit- 
nessed him at the time. On one of these oc- 
casions it was indeed bitterness to behold him. 
After a period of extreme restlessness and mental 
pain, he turned to his youngest son, who sat be- 
side him, and said, ' May I not now say I am 
forsaken?' A reply was given simply in the 
words of the promise, * I will never leave thee, 
nor forsake thee.' ' No,' he added, * I must not 
say so ; — God never forsook any of his children 
but ofmy and that was Ms well beloved So7l^ In a 
moment the cloud seemed to have passed, and his 
tongue was loosed for the most beautiful, though- 
broken, utterances of hope and affection. It was 
at this time that he spoke of Surrey Chapel, the 
only time indeed that his thoughts were expressed 
on any subject excepting such as immediately 
concerned himself and his children. Mistaking 
liis youngest son for Mr. Hall, he exclaimed, 


' Oh ! I have always loved Surrey, and I will 
love it, and work for it till my last breath/ After 
a brief interval he became fully conscious that it 
was his son who was sitting beside him, and said, 
* This is a bitter school for you, but it will be a 
useful one : you must learn in this how to preach 
to your people. It seems hard for flesh and 
blood to endure these dreadful attacks, — but it 
is all rights 

He felt it to be a signal blessing that circum- 
stances permitted all his children to be with him, 
to assist their devoted mother in ministering in 
turn to his every want. To them, indeed, it is 
no little privilege to feel that no stranger-hand 
was needed to supply his necessities. If grief 
he had at leaving the world it was at the thoughts 
of being separated from his wife and children. 
He once enumerated those of his children — ^three 
in number — who had preceded him to a better 
world, and his countenance was lighted up with 
a heavenly glow, as looking upward he seemed 
almost to behold them bending from their thrones 
of glory to greet a father's entrance into the ever- 
lasting habitations — ' Let us all be together,' he 
would say, * at the last ; wife, — children, — grand- 
children; we mu%t be an unbroken family in 

Life was now ebbing fast away. Several times 


we were summoned around his couch, expecting 
every moment to be his last. On one of these 
occasions, a few days only before his decease, 
the scene was indeed solemn and affecting. It 
was at midnight ; — we stood watching with intense 
anxiety that quick convulsive movement which 
we deemed the immediate precursor of dissolu- 
tion. The commendatory prayer was offered ; 

* We humbly commend the soul of this, thy 
servant, our dear father^ into thy hands, as into 
the hands of a faithful Creator, and most mer- 
ciful Saviour; most humbly beseeching thee, 
that it may be precious in thy sight. Wash it, 
we pray thee, in the blood of that immaculate 
Lamb, that was slain to take away the sins of the 
world ; that whatsoever defilements it may have 
contracted in the midst of this miserable and 
naughty world, through the lusts of the flesh, 
or the wiles of Satan, being purged and done 
away, it may be presented pure and without 
spot before thee.' To our joy he rallied once 
more, and to our inquiries as to his feelings, 
especially with reference to that unseen world 
into which he was so shortly to enter, he mur- 
mured, simply and beautifully, * Peace.* ^ Though 
we may be parted from you,' said his son to him, 

* yet it will only be lor a time ; you will soon 
join those of us who have gone before to a better 


world, and we, who are left behind for a while, 
hope, through the same Saviour, to inherit the 
like blessedness. Meanwhile it is a joy to us to 
think that we are all here to receive a father^ 9 
ilesmigj At the last expression he seemed tQ 
acquire strength for the effort, and, with up- 
raised hands, as the patriarch, *• blessed his house- 
hold ;' * The Lord bless you — and keep you ; — 
the Lord be — very merciful unto you ; — the Lord 
— make his face — to shine upon you ; — the Lord 
— give you peace — now — henceforth — and for 
ever. Amen.' He added a few words of solemn 
counsel to his much-loved wife and each of his 
children, according to their several needs. To 
his two sons who had been called to the office of 
the Christian ministry, he spoke, in particular, 
with deep feeling, urging them to pray for grace, 
that they might be * faithful even unto death,* 
in making known among their people * the un- 
searchable riches of Christ.' 

During the last three days of his life, he was 
comparatively free from pain, and slept a con- 
siderable part of the time. This was a merciful 
change from the previous part of his iUness/ 
when many nights were passed with less than 
an hour's rest. Whenever he was awake, how- 
ever, even to the last, his senses retained their 
full perceptions. He fully knew that he was a 


dying man, and, indeed, often said so. At one 
o'clock in the morning on which he died, he took 
his son's hand and pressed it, and, with his own 
accustomed smile, bade him farewell for aw,hile. 
After this he spoke but little, and then only 
to ask for water for his parched mouth. No 
further indication of immediate death, or indeed 
of any decided change for the worse, had been 
noticed, and he fell, as was supposed, into an 
ordinary sleep about half-past three o'clock ; — but 
from that slumber he never awoke. His wife 
and son were sitting near him in the usual 
positions of watching. At half-past four they 
perceived a slight alteration in the breathing ; — 
it gradually became less audible; — on listening 
closely with the ear, they found that he had 
sunk away into the stillness of death. He had 
* fallen asleep in Jesus ;' — the spirit had fled to 
its everlasting rest. 

On the 12th of April, seven days after his 
decease, his remains were interred at the cemetery 
at Norwood. In the choice of his last resting- 
place, his own wishes, previously expressed, were 
followed. Devout men carried him to his 
burial. Christian firiends of all denominations — 
representatives of the Tract Society-— of Surrey 


Chapel — of other institutions with which he had 
been connected — joined his children in bearing 
him to the tomb, and rendered willing respect to 
his memory. In the Cemetery Chapel many 
more were collected together. The service was 
impressively read by the Rev. W. W. Champneys, 
Canon of St. Paul's and Clerical Secretary of the 
Tract Society. Many there present felt how 
truly it was * in sure and certain hope ' that we 
committed his body to the tomb. 

Our fore-fathers called the saints' resting-place 
Q-od's Acre, Doubtless into the mind of more 
than one who stood around that grave entered 
the consoling thought, that in that hallowed spot 
at least we had dropped one seed which should 
hereafter blossom abimdantly to the glory of God, 
* when this corruptible shall have put on incor- 
ruption, and this mortal shall have put on im-