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MEMO I R.
CHILDHOOD AND EARLY YEARS.
• Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
• The memoirs of our 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 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
partial or prejudiced statement, also, renders a memoir of little value to the reader who consults it either for information or for personal improvement.
It is now twenty years ago since the subject of this present memoir commenced with these sentiments an account of the life and labours of his revered friend and pastor, the Rev. 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 fortunate, therefore, that, at the suggestion of some members of his family, he had been in the habit of 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 bequeathing 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 troubled 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 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 born at Battersea, in the neighbourhood of London, on the 15th 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
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Tiger he me du sif rens old, an incident centred which had a material influence on the abcie of his after Returning with his father and friend from a visit to the neighbourhood of Battersea, the carriage in which they were riding was accidentally overturned; the driver running against a post at the corner 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 inability to give personal attendance to the conduct of his business, he saw his means sadly diminished. In fact, all that a family, now numbering 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 brother.
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