Jones, Griffith

Jones, Griffith a Welsh divine, generally known as the Welsh Apostle, was born at Kilreddis, Caermarthenshire, in 1684. His parents, who were eminently pious, took great pains to imbue the mind of their son from his earliest years with impressions of religion. The serious turn which they thus gave to his mind inclined him towards the Christian ministry. At the completion of his theological studies he was ordained by bishop Bull, Sept. 19, 1708, and shortly after appointed to the rectory of Llanddowror by Sir John Philips, whose own religious character made him anxious to secure the services of a man of piety and learning like Jones. "In this situation," says Middleton (Evangelical Biography, s.v.), "he soon developed all the best qualities of a man of God, and a most eloquent and evangelical preacher. Christ was all to him; and it was his greatest delight to publish and exalt the unsearchable riches of his Redeemer's righteousness. Nor was he less blessed in his private plans of doing good. He founded among his countrymen free schools, and by this means more than a hundred and fifty thousand poor people were taught to read. He also circulated thirty thousand copies of the Welsh Bible among them, besides other religious and useful books. His humility gave luster to all these labors of love. On his dying bed he said, 'I must bear witness to the goodness of God to me. Blessed be God, his comforts fill my soul.' He died in April, 1761. It may be truly said of Griffith Jones that few lives were more heavenly and useful, and few deaths more triumphant." Jones also wrote and published several religious treatises in Welsh and English, of which many thousands were distributed as had been the Bible. See Jamieson, Cyclop. Relig. Biog. p. 289; Alibone, Dict. Engl. and Amer. Authors, vol. 2, s.v.

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