Friday, June 08, 2007

Griffth Jones, Llanddowror: A Passionate Preacher

The most notable feature of Griffith Jones' work in these early years was his preaching, which was possessed of power both to convict and to convert. An early biographical fragment, parts of which appear on his monument at Llanddowror declares that: 'In his preaching he inculcated the plainest and most obvious Duties of Christianity, which he inforced on the Minds of His Hearers in a manner so powerful and interesting, that few or none could depart unaffected or unedified."

Eifion Evans, in his biography of Daniel Rowland, notes that Griffith Jones often preached with tears running down his cheeks, as he pleaded with sinners to flee to Christ. William Williams, Pantycelyn, described Griffth Jones' sermons as a 'clear trumpet call.' His sermons were Anglican, his doctrine that of the prayer-book and cathechism, but he preached a felt Christ, and the need to have a personal interest in His blood:
"You may be poor, and stay poor, and yet go to heaven at last," he declared on one occaison; "you may be in sickness or in prison and stay that way, and yet get to heaven after you die; you may be without much education or learning, and yet go to heaven when you leave this world; but without this change, without becoming a new creature, it is impossible for you ever to get to heaven."

No-one was getting to heaven because of their family ties, or simply because they went to church, they had to know Christ. Baptism, he held, was important, and he believed in covenant baptism to the extent that he did not trust the Baptists, believing their doctrine to be false, but it was not enough, just as simply taking Communion was not enough. In common with the thirty-nine articles, Griffith Jones believed that it was necessary to receive those sacraments worthily in order to derive any benefits from them. And in order for people to receive them worthily, they had to know how to be right with God. They had to be taught.



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