Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Griffith Jones, Llanddowror: To Go or to Stay?

As Griffith Jones entered into his ministry, and the HolySpirit began to move, it was perhaps inevitable that this young man should attract the attention of prominent people in the area. The first such patron he was to meet would be Sir John Phillipps, Baronet, of Picton Castle, an evangelical Member of Parliament with connections to the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

This introduction occured around the time that Griffith Jones received his first appointment as a beneficed clergyman, to Llandilo Abercywyn. It seems that the move was not entirely to Griffth Jones' satisfaction, as the young clergyman began to entertain thoughts of the mission field.
Sir John Phillipps' letters to the SPCK reveal that Grifith Jones seriously considered becoming a missionay to the East Indies, going so far as to learn Spanish (or possibly Portugese). Indeed, he went up to London under the direction of Sir John.

But Griffith Jones came to see that, in looking to evangelise the colonies, he was ignoring another call. Wales was sunk deep in ignorance and night. Jones, as a Welsh speaker, could bring the Gospel to his own people in a way that few evangelicals could. And, with the patronage of Sir John Picton, he could withstand the efforts of certain of the clergy, who feared that they were being undermined.

This Griffith Jones was soon to need, as he found himself on trial for preaching the Gospel.



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