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Here he drew up The Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity, which he had kept in his thoughts for some years, and to which he had paid a particular attention as often as the Scriptures of the Old or New Testament were before him. It is an invaluable work, and admirably calculated to stop the mouths of gainsayers ; “ which compareth spiritual things with spiritual,” and maketh the scripture its own interpreter. To the third edition, in 1767, was added, A Letter to the Common People in Answer to some popular Arguments against the Trinity. The Society for promoting Christian Knowledge have since laudably admitted it into their list of books, and from the general distribution of it, there can be no doubt of its producing great and good effects.
And here it was he engaged in a work he had much at heart, for which he was eminently qualified, as the event proved; and which some of his friends had at heart likewise, who subscribed among them 3001. per annum for three years (in which number was the present worthy Dean of Hereford, now Master, but then only Fellow of University College, who most generously put his name down for 50l. per ann.) to enable him to supply himself with an apparatus sufficient for the purpose of making the experiments necessary to his composing a Treatise on Philosophy. In 1762 he published An Essay on the First Principles of Natural Philosophy, in quarto, the design of which was to demonstrate the use of Natural Means or Second Causes in the Economy of the Material World, from Reason, Experiments, and the Testimony of Antiquity; and in 1781 he published a larger work in quarto, under the title of Physiological Disquisitions, or Discourses on the Natural Philoso
phy of the Elements. As it was ever his study to make Philosophy the handmaid of Religion, he has in this work embraced every opportunity of turning natural knowledge to the illustration of Divine Truth, and the advancement of Virtue. When the first yolume was published, the late Earl of Bute, whom one may now without offence, it is presumed, stile the patron of learning and of learned men, was so satisfied with it, that he desired the Author not to be intimidated, through fear of expence, from pursuing his philosophical studies, but to direct Mr. Adams, the Mathematical Instrument Maker, to supply him with such instruments as he might want for making experiments, and put them to his account; and he also handsomely offered him the use of any books for which he might have occasion. In a letter written by Mr. Jones to a friend after a conversation with his Lordship, which was not confined to philosophical subjects, having mentioned with approbation what had passed in that discourse, he observes, “ Such is the man whom the King delighteth to honour;" and then, adverting to the frenzy of the times, and the character of the popular favourite, when the cry was Wilkes and Liberty, adds, Such is the man whom the people delight to honour. One thing that made a great impression on Mr. Jones at the time was; that it being agreed between them, that there was no pleasure like that of a studious life, his Lordship observed there was a time when he made himself a teacher to his children, and followed his studies in the retirement of a remote situation in the North. The day was then too short; but since he came forward into public life and public business, he had scarcely known one hour of enjoyment. If his Lordship, who was at the
top of the world, found so much dissatisfaction, what reason have I (thought Mr. Jones) who am at the bottom of it, to complain that life is troublesome and favour uncertain ?
It is said, that " no one remembered the poor wise man who saved the city;" but the Author of the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity, who did such eminent service to the Church and City of God, was not forgotten ; he was remembered by Archbishop Secker, who presented him, first to the Vicarage of Bothersden in Kent, in the year 1764, and soon after to the more valuable Rectory of Pluckley in the same county, as some reward for his able defence of Christian Orthodoxy. Accordingly he took his wife and his two children, and all his substance, which was not much, (my Master Jones, said an old servant of his, minds money no more than the dirt in the street) and went to the place which the providence of God had allotted for him. The income he derived from his Living not being equal to what he expected, it was thought expedient by his friends that he should eke out his slender pittance by taking a few pupils. And a happy thought it was for those who were to have the benefit of his instruction ; for of no man could it be more truly said, By a constant unwearied
diligence he attained unto a perfection in all the « learned languages, by the help of which, and his “ unremitted studies, he had made the subtilty of all “ the arts easy and familiar to himself. So that by “ these, added to his great reason, and his industry " added to both, he did not only know more of «s causes and effects, but what he knew, he knew « better than other men. And with this knowledge « he had a most blessed and clear method of demon2
“ strating < strating what he knew to the great advantage of all “ his pupils.”
Usus et impigræ simul experientia mentis
Paullatim docuit pedetentim progredientes. Lucr. I. v. 1451. Of the same sentiment is Bishop Horsley, who making mention of Mr. Jones in the seasonable Charge to his Clergy in the year 1800, says, “ Of that faithful
servant of God, I can speak both from personal
knowledge and from his writings. He was a man s of quick penetration, of extensive learning, and the “ soundest piety. And he had beyond any other man “ I ever knew, the talent of writing upon the deepest “ subjects to the plainest understanding.” As he had undertaken the tuition of two young Gentlemen when he was at Bothersden, he continued the practice after he removed to Pluckley.
In 1766 he preached the Visitation Sermon before Archbishop Secker at Ashford, greatly to the satisfaction of his Grace and the whole audience. not printed at the time; but in the year 1769 the substance of it was published in the form of A Letter to a young Gentleman at Oxford intended for Holy Orders, containing some seasonable Cautions against Errors in Doctrine; and it may be read to great advantage by every candidate for the sacred profession.
On the publication of a work intitled The Confessional, an artful libel on Creeds, Confessions, Articles of Faith, &c. the Archbishop considered Mr. Jones as a proper person to write an Answer to it; and accordingly he drew up some remarks on it; but he had then neither health nor leisure to fit them for the press. This he was the less uneasy about, as the argument was undertaken by others, of whose
learning and experience he had a better opinion than of his own; and a full confutation of the work was published in three Letters addressed to its Author, written by the judicious hand of Dr. Glocester Ridley. But a new edition being called for of the Answer to an Essay on Spirit, Mr. Jones thought it advisable to add, by way of sequel, the Remarks he had originally drawn up on the principles and spirit of the Confessional; not as supposing they had not been fairly and fully refuted in the three Letters, but as they were in a smaller compass, thinking that they might better suit the taste of some readers ; and in 1770 they were published.
It is mentioned in Bishop Porteus's Life of Archbishop Secker, that all the tracts written by Dr. Sharp, in the Hutchinsonian Controversy, were subnitted to his Grace's inspection, previously to their publication, who corrected and improved them throughout; from whence we are to conclude that he approved them. But whatever his prejudices were originally against what is called Hutchinsonianism, (and they were supposed at one time to be pretty strong), they must have been greatly done away before he became the patron of Mr. Jones. When the Essay on the first Principles of Natural Philosophy was published, his Grace observed to a Gentleman, who saw it lying on his table “ this work of Mr. Jones's is not to be treated with neglect; it is sensibly and candidly written; and if it is not answered, we little folks shall infer, that it cannot be answered ;” and it never was answered. And he told Mr. Jones himself, by way of consolation (knowing possibly how difficult it was to get rid of old prejudices) that he must be content to be accounted, for a while, an heretic in philosophy.