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Thomas Jones was born at Rhayader, Radnorshire on the 17th in July 1819; he grew up in the very heart of the religious movement. His ancestors were religious people, and he himself became the successor of Griffith Jones, Howell Harris, and Rowlands, the creators of the movement.

More than forty years later, when Thomas Jones returned to Llanwrtyd again, some of the elder brethren asked him one night to the ‘Society.’ Where children still repeated Scripture texts. Suddenly recalling his own childhood there, he rose to address the children, pointing with his finger to the corner of the bench where he used to sit, and, turning to the aged deacon and others of his old friends, thanked them in tones of deep feeling.

Then in 1839 he went to Llanelli in Carmarthenshire, having rejoined the Calvinistic Methodists, and began to deliver temperance addresses, humorous and resourceful; there, too he began to preach. As young as he was, he was already eager to qualify himself for the ministry, and from time to time he would address his fellow-workmen in their dinner-hour, having earned respectful hearing at one of these early preaching’s, when descending from the pulpit, he challenged an insolent interrupter to a fight, and taught him and his companions a lesson.

He did not remain with the Calvinistic Methodists long. A violent controversy had arisen concerning the Atonement and the Work of the Spirit, this moved him to reconsider his beliefs. He found that he could not subscribe to some of the doctrines in the ‘Confession of Faith;’ and the elders, therefore rejected him, some pronouncing him ‘worse that an infidel.’

His wonderful exploits as a ‘Cymanfa’ preacher, which were, very widely discussed by people during his early youth. He had the power of electrifying audiences in a manner that was perfectly magical; and though he became the foremost English (Nonconformist) preacher of his day, he never quite attained to the extraordinary magnetism as an orator which he possessed in his native language. Many years afterwards, I remembered a conversation I had with an old man who, in his youth, was a member of Thomas Jones’s congregation at Tabor, in which he told me the method which the great preacher followed in the preparation of one of his ‘Cymanfa’ sermons.

But his work went on with increasing fruitfulness. The people who, moved by what they heard of him, had entreated him to come over and help them, thronged to listen to his sermons, could not find means enough to express their profound appreciation of this man who brought, and not to members of his own sect only, the supreme gift, the light by which to live when his own term was drawing to its close.

Rev. Jones was, universally acknowledged as a fine preacher, and the large congregations and increase of Church membership confirmed his popularity in Melbourne. But he was not strong enough to meet all the demands of a metropolitan pastorate. In, February 1878 the veteran pastor the Reverend Edwin Day of Castlemaine (who had arrived in Victoria with Fletcher and Poore in 1854) was, appointed as an assistant to Thomas Jones. Day was to undertake the duties of pastoral visitation and oversee the activities of the Sunday school and missions.6 Jones' health precluded the kind of leader¬ship exercised by Henderson, so the task of administering the Church's social activities and societies fell to the long-standing activists in the fellowship. It was these lay people who initiated new activities such as the organisation of a ragged school (a school for poor children) and a system of neighbourhood visiting by `Bible women' in this period. The deliberate reduction in Jones' pastoral and administrative duties was an attempt to conserve the preacher's energies and thus to gain time to search for a permanent minister. By early 1879, Jones was pressing the Church to find a new pastor.

The Southern Cross contains the following references to the Rev. Thos. Jones, the late pastor of Walter Road Chapel, Swansea. The Rev. Thomas Jones, who was recently a stranger amongst us, is now sufficiently well known to warrant the assumption, without risk, that so long as he was able to preach there will certainly be people to hew him. We are not going to say of him that he combines all gifts nor that there are no preachers amongst us superior to him in any reapers for if a man has one set of faculties in excess, he usually has not another, and must be content with his advantage, of what sort soever it may he. But he is pre-eminently the popular preacher of the colony and deserves to be. The perfect simplicity of his mode and style is enough of itself to stamp him as a true genius.

Nothing can be more natural than his preaching and the manner of it. Whether by tendency of nature, or cultivation, or both, he appears to have realised the ne plus ultra of manly straight forwardness and direct incisive simplicity. We are glad to recognise in his popularity, not only the promise that he will be a power for good, so long it may please God he should remain, but also a most encouraging proof that the public taste bai undergone a most salutary alteration during the last quarter of a century, and that the grandiose, red- in-the brush style, the Turkey carpet fashion of punching is no longer considered the only great than Mr. Jones, more than any other preacher amongst us, will establish and magnify this new mode, which is directly declarative of a more severe, honest, and elevated kind of culture. But alas! 'tis true, 'tis pity, pity ‘tis true, there is always something- The wretched maladroit fly will taint the most precious, as well as the commonest pot of ointment. Somebody sins unconscionably and without excuse, every time that Mr. Jones preaches.

His hearers were, subjected to a distressing and needless martyrdom, and the wonder is that he can keep his feet and preach three times a week. The thing is cruel and if there he any who think that worse, it is in the highest degree impolitic that 2000 persons of both sexes, and all ages, should he couped up for two hours within a space that would not contain more than air enough for a tenth of that number.

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