Character and Convictions
"PLEASE to put me down at the corner." Accordingly the tram stopped in Bute Road at the corner of Loudoun Square, and an old gentleman rose from his scat to get out. He was of stout build, with handsome features, a clean-shaven face, and had long, thin locks of white hair drawn over the top of his head. He wore rather shabby clerical clothes, a tall hat, and invariably a little black serge tippet over his shoulders. "Well, good-bye, now" said he cheerily to the present writer, who was going farther in the tram; and with a final smile on his fellow-passengers in general, and in particular on a little child he had called to him during the journey to pet and make much of, he slowly dismounted, considerately helped by the civil tram-conductor.
"Who's that?" said a woman to her companion.
"Oh, that's Father Jones," said the other in reply. "Everybody loves him, and lie's so fond of the children."
And how very true were her words, and how proud he would have been to hear that estimate of himself! Yes, everybody loved him. I think even when his opponents in his early days at Cardiff were "baiting" him in the rowdy Vestry Meetings they, at any rate, didn't hate him-they only hated some "bogey," existent merely in their own minds, representing what they thought were the aims and objects the dear old Vicar had in view. But they mistook those aims and objects, and he never wavered in pursuing them, never "trimmed," didn't know the meaning of that hateful word "compromise"-the life and breath of many amongst us-always bore witness to the Catholic Faith, always upheld and strove to advance Catholic practice, preached the Catholic Faith, talked of it "to those that met him," lived it as he went in and out amongst his own people; and so not by "giving in" to anybody, but by staunch and constant advocacy and transparent consistency and conviction he advanced the cause of the Catholic Faith so clear to his heart, and incidentally won not only the respect-that is a cold word-but, as our friend in the tram expressed it, the love of every one.
The present writer cannot refrain from emphasizing this point, believing it to be the lesson-and a most indispensable lesson in these days when downright steadfastness is often clubbed "bigotry," and giving in to every error and prejudice is called "charity"-of Father Jones's life, that there is no lack of charity in being firm and consistent and unwavering-nay, that charity which lacks firmness in the way of truth is not worthy of the name, and will certainly not only never pass muster before God, but will not evoke the love of man, as Father Jones was able to draw it forth not only in his own parish of S. Mary the Virgin, Cardiff, but far and wide, wherever he was known.
More of us would do well to follow his example, and bear in mind the Scriptural precept, "It is required in stewards that they be found"-not "liberal" with things that are not their own, but-"faithful."
"S. Mary's Catholic Schools" he caused to be blazoned on the large banner carried before the procession at the Whitsun School Treats, and that colour was nailed to the mast. None could mistake him, or doubt what line he would take, and yet, though it might not be the popular line, or line of the least resistance, yet people loved him, and were sure of his loving sympathy in return, whether it were his fellow workers, clergy and laymen, or his friends and neighbours who understood him, or the general public. Witness the countless kindly greetings he encountered daily in the streets of Cardiff. "Who was that?" one would ask, when a stranger accosted him in what seemed quite an affectionate manner. "I don't know in the world who it is," was as often as not his characteristic reply. Witness his arrival at a public meeting. What a storm of applause would be raised as he rather shuffled across the platform, hat in hand, and took his place: not that he was an orator, or able to sway crowds by his eloquence, but he was "Father Jones," and the people loved him.
Witness lastly that wonderful funeral when he was laid to rest: the vespers the night before at S. Mary's Church crowded to the doors; people dropping into church to watch and pray at intervals during the night. The present writer observed a woman and two little girls arrive, glance tearfully at the coffin where it stood covered with purple pall, and surrounded by six tall burning tapers, and then sink on their knees in silent prayer for quite a long time. At the early Masses many Communions were made; at the sung Mass at 10.30 a.m. the Church was thronged; and the procession through the streets headed by cross-bearer and acolytes, choir, clergy, and the present Vicar, Rev. Gilbert Heaton, as officiant in black cope, was a thing never to be forgotten. The stillness that fell over S. Mary Street, though crowded at that midday hour, was simply wonderful, and the expressions of sorrow quietly spoken as the procession passed along all bore witness to the loving esteem in which he was generally held. It mattered not that but few dignitaries of the diocese thought it worth while to attend-that was all of a piece with the clear old Father's treatment throughout his life, though even in that direction personal affection and friendliness prevailed; and it never troubled him in the least, except that he grieved when the late Bishop Lewis took umbrage at the High Mass rendered at S. Mary's on the occasion of the Cardiff Church Congress, and addressed him in letters as "Dear Mr. Jones" instead of "Dear Jones"; and his unfeigned joy when this cloud passed and "Dear Jones" became again usual showed that no spice of bitterness or resentment entered into his thoughts. He never hankered after honour and preferment, knowing he was not and never intended to be "a safe man."
Though here it might be well to rebut the charge often made against him, that he sprung the full Catholic ritual on a startled congregation of Protestants all at once, as soon as he came to the Parish of S. Mary the Virgin, Cardiff, thereby offending and driving them away. This was certainly not the case. Very little change was made in the accustomed ritual for many years. Even the use of the black gown in the pulpit was continued till just before the present writer took his title as Deacon under Father Jones at S. Mary's at Trinity 1875. Then coloured stoles were introduced; next the use of linen vestments, the first chasuble being merely a piece of perfectly plain linen with a hole in the centre; and then, as people became accustomed to the Catholic teaching, coloured silk vestments were provided by members of the congregation, and so it became possible duly to observe the Ornaments Rubric of the Prayer Book, and to have a more ornate service intelligently appreciated by a devout if not large congregation of worshippers.
To render an ornate ceremonial necessitates the preparation of previous teaching and influence, otherwise the persons to take part would not be available; and it was Father Jones's boast that in the noted Congress Service, before alluded to, no less than seventy persons took part in the ceremonial-choir, orchestra, acolytes, etc.
And he was so fond of the children. Yes; no account of Father Jones could be complete without telling forth his love for children. They fascinated him and he fascinated them. If he were at one end of a tram car or railway carriage and a little child at the other, or if he entered a room full of people and a little child was there, his attention was always taken by the child, and the little one invariably overcame its shyness, and responded to his beckoning to come and sit on his knee, look at his watch, and kiss him. A little one would leave his play to toddle across the street for Father Jones to pat him and say, "There's my little pet," or to confide some secret of pain or joy of his little life. He was so delighted with the incident of a little child having confided to the present writer during an afternoon visit, "There's g'eengages," that it became a standing joke and a household word: when any little delicacy was going to be served at table in the Clergy House, Father Jones would say to his clergy, "You'd better be home to dinner; there's g'eengages." His was a loving and a childlike mind-that was the secret of this mutual attraction between him and children. It was no cupboard love they had for him. It is a slander which has found its way into print that he always had sweets in his pocket for the children. This was certainly not the case. He gave them nothing-he didn't buy their love. He loved them, and they loved him in return. He could be one of them, as it were. To see him in early days sitting surrounded by his choir-boys, giving them their marks, allowing them to argue with him over the marks, and disputing with them on his own part, didn't remind one of a stiff and starchy Vicar, but of a boy amongst boys.
He always in early days used to take his choir-boys out on Easter Monday for a little treat, and at one of the protracted Vestry Meetings he pleaded for respite on the ground that "Now, gentlemen, can't we finish the proceedings? my boys are in the brake at the door." "I wish we could put the brake on you," responded a crusty parishioner. "Ah, but you can't," laughed Father Jones, and the Vestry laughed with him as he drove away.
Father Jones might be seen sometimes busy with India rubber cleaning the flyleaves of the psalters and hymn books in church, which the young gentlemen of the choir used to embellish with pictures, not always artistic, and legends not always suitable for such positions. One of these legends greatly amused Father Jones. It ran thus-
My mother made a seedy cake,
Which gave us all the belly ache,
and he often laughed about it; and one day, shortly before his death, as he was contemplating the fruit in a shop window, the warning to "remember the seedy cake" greatly tickled him, and he said, "Oh, yes; it gave us all the belly ache, didn't it?"
It has been mentioned above that Father Jones did not court the children's love with lollypops continually given, but a custom of his should be recorded, viz. that on Christmas Day every child that came to the Clergy House at midday had an orange or two given him or her. Some hundreds used to assemble, and it was quite a business to grapple with them, letting them in a few at a time at the front door and out at the back. And the state of the floor, steps, and pavement outside was a "caution to snakes."
At one period there was a great clamour amongst the children for books. "Mr. Jones, give me a book." It arose thus. Father Jones gave away a lot of old magazines to the children, and then every one began to wish and ask for them: so the Father would save any pictures or catalogues which happened to come by post, saying, "That will make a beautiful book for the children." One day a small crowd of youngsters assembled at the dining-room window with the fashionable request, "Mr. Jones, give me a book," and were duly supplied through the window from the said store of old postage stuff. Father Puller, then Vicar of Roath, happened to be present on this occasion, and exclaimed, "Dear! They demand the bread of literature, and you give them the stone of catalogues!"
Father Jones, though a lover of children, was certainly not a good disciplinarian. His appearance in Sunday or day school, be it quietly breathed, was rather a signal for disorder, and he couldn't manage a number of youngsters.
That children were not at all in awe of him is amusingly illustrated by the following incident. Some children were playing" in the churchyard at S. Mary's, where they were not usually allowed, lest they should injure the plants and shrubs. "Ah, run away," said Father Jones, "the man will be after you." One little urchin ran up to Father Jones and said, "What man? The man with the long neck?" The child knew that the revered old Parish Clerk, Mr. Samuel Hodge, whom he thus differentiated as "the man with the long neck," would not be so tolerant and forbearing as Father Jones.
But perhaps the prettiest of the children incidents the present writer is able to recall is that when Father Jones was passing along Christina Street, not far from the Clergy House in Loudoun Square, he was met by a company of little girls, who came up to him and announced, "Mr. Jones, we're just going to play on your doorstep."
One thinks in this connection, that as the joys of the future life are various, and special joys appeal to certain souls, one special joy to him and such as him may be wrapped up in the words of Holy Writ which declare that "the streets of the City shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (Zech. viii. 5).
We must add this touching incident of children yet lingering by the doorstep of his long home and resting-place. Five or six quite little children were seen one day kneeling on the ground round the grassy mound that marks his grave till a tombstone shall be set up; and when asked by the kindly Superintendent of the cemetery, "Do you know who is buried there?" the little ones whispered, "Yes, Father Jones."
PRACTICE AND TEACHING AS TO SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION
Receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed unto thee by the Imposition of our hands. Whose sins thou dost forgive, they are forgiven; and whose sins thou dost retain, they are retained. And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of His holy Sacraments; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
So run the words of ordination spoken by every Bishop of the Anglican Communion to every individual who receives the Order of Priesthood: and Father Jones, not being a sophist, and not being High Church, Low Church, Broad Church, or, forsooth, Deep Church-in which last it has been said that words mean exactly the opposite of what they seem to express, "Yes" means "No," "black" means "white," "the day before yesterday" means "the day after to-morrow," "Depart, ye cursed," means "Come, ye blessed," and so on-Father Jones took the words of ordination in their plain grammatical sense, and supposed they meant what they said, and conferred the "power of absolution" or "power of the keys" on the priest. And he considered that this power was meant to be used for the benefit of the souls of Christ's flock, not hid under a bushel, or wrapped in a napkin and buried out of sight. So he sought its application to his own soul-made his first confession in his college days at Oxford, to Dr. Pusey, and continued to seek the benefit of Absolution from time to time throughout his life, and did his utmost to influence all whom he could to use this wholesome practice and discipline. "It is good for everybody," he would say, quoting the words of an old priest, to whom he had made the remark that "confession was so good for our young men." "It is good for everybody," was the reply, and this became a proverb with Father Jones.
Continually in his sermons as well as in private instruction of individuals for Confirmation or Communion, or in preparation for death, he taught the doctrine of Pardon through the Precious Blood by means of Sacramental Absolution; and he exhorted to and encouraged the practice of auricular confession, and wished his staff of clergy to do the like. [I find a note in his diary on Jan. 8, 1898, "Had considerable talk with------ about the curacy and his tenets, etc. He 'does not hold with Confession,' etc. This settles the matter-though he had told me he believed the sacramental teaching of the Church."] He would say, "We call a spade a spade at S. Mary's; and mean what we say. We don't call it 'seeing a clergyman,' but 'making your confession,' and that for the benefit of absolution." His Lent and Passion-tide Pastorals always urged this blessed means of grace on poor sinners seeking pardon and peace at the foot of the Cross.
How vigorously would he denounce "the black spot" of sin that defiles men's souls, and urge his hearers to cast it out by confession, and to cleanse it away by seeking absolution! And agreeably to this teaching he had times announced in the church porch and in the Parish Magazine when he and the other clergy might be found in church ready to hear the confessions of those who wished to make them. Many, many souls learned to value this means of grace, and resorted to it; and before great festivals all the clergy would be busy in church with this work.
Father Jones never made this in any way a personal matter, as though the grace sought depended on any particular man. A priest is a priest, he thought, and one may as well make one's confession to one priest as to another; and he never minded whether people chose to confess to him or to another member of his staff, or any other priest. As Dr. Pusey expressed it, "The Church of England leaves her children free as to whom they should open their griefs." In the words of the Prayer Book, "Let him come to me or to some other discreet and learned Minister of Christ's Church." Father Jones was much impressed with the notion that it was most important for the clergy themselves to submit to this discipline. He thought it indispensable, if they were in turn to minister to others. he would try to influence any of the younger clergy to make their confessions; and at one period be arranged for an experienced Confessor, Rev. A. H. Ward, of S. Raphael's, Bristol, to come to Cardiff before each Great Festival, and notice would be sent to neighbouring clergy in case they might desire to avail themselves of this privilege, and make their confession to him: and many were by this means led to begin or to renew this voluntary practice, or were encouraged to continue in it, to their soul's great good.
It was absolution he believed in, absolution people needed, and absolution they could have in the Church of England, in spite of what a drunken Irishman, in his bibulous zeal for the monopoly in this point of his own Communion, said in a train one day, "Father Jones! No Father at all! Bishop of Llandaff no Bishop at all! No spiritual power!" Or in spite of all efforts to explain away words so plain and directions so explicit as are to be found in the Book of Common Prayer. Absolution he emphasized rather than direction, not considering it at all to the point to trouble the penitent with many inquiries, or to encourage much talk in the Confessional or even the spending of much time over the actual making a confession. It is said that one must hold a truth most firmly and without doubt to be able to make a joke in connection with it, and an illustration of this may be given here. Father Jones would sometimes speak of confession as "Family Secrets," or "Family Affairs," in allusion to the incident mentioned in one of his letters given below.
But there was no prying into family affairs or anything of the sort with Father Jones, he simply heard the confession, prescribed some useful devotion as a penance, and gave the absolution: so that very little passed between priest and penitent at all, only what was absolutely necessary for the due administration of the Sacrament of Penance. This was self-evident from the short time he usually occupied with any penitent; and one who resorted to Father Jones for confession regularly for many years permits us to chronicle that such was invariably the case.
Yet he would give counsel and advice when it was asked for or needed,; and one of the valued legacies of his will, viz. his violet stole and his copy of "The Priest in Absolution," shows what care and thought and trouble he would take when occasion required. The book alluded to is scored with many pencil marks, and has pinned between some of its leaves valuable letters of cases of conscience (of course without any names mentioned) which Father Jones received from experienced spiritual guides, in answer to questions he had propounded to them with regard to cases that came before him in the confessional. This, of course, was the most unpalatable part of the teaching Father Jones had to deliver, but he did not shrink, like the great Apostle S. Paul, "to declare the whole counsel of God,' of which he had no sort of doubt that this was a part. Though some might contradict and blaspheme, though some might distort and pervert the truth, though some attribute wrong and disgraceful motives, he kept straight on: and many bless him for it. "I don't believe in confession," one would say. "You mean you don't like it," he would reply. "I don't believe in habitual confession," another would say. "Nor should I if the habit of sin were entirely conquered," he would say. One had bought a penny book which said confession was not right; Father Jones had a twopenny book, "Pardon through the Precious Blood," which showed that it was right. Another wouldn't go to confession because his parents didn't like it, "Did you ask your parents if you might sin?" Father Jones would say. "Then why ask them if you should repent?" And the ingenuous plea of one youth, that he would not go to confession any more because "it gave him a headache," amused Father Jones immensely, and he would say sometimes to one of his staff, "Ah, Coe, it gives 'em terrible headaches these times, so they won't go to their confessions."
Father Jones was entirely at one with Mr. Keble and Tractarians in this matter. We are often told by those in authority to follow the Tractarians, and so he did. And we may here give a quotation from Mr. Keble, which expresses the mind and action of Father Jones.
In short, our one great grievance is the neglect of confession. Until we can begin to restore that, we shall not have the due severity in our religion; and without a severe religion I fear our Church will practically fail. We go on working in the dark, and in the dark it will be, until the rule of systematic confession is revived in our Church.
Then the tradition which goes by the name of "justification by faith," and which in reality means, that one who has sinned and is sorry for it is as if he had not sinned, blights and benumbs one in every limb in trying to make people aware of their real state. . . .
And this is why I so deprecate the word and the idea of Protestantism, because it seems inseparable to me from "Every man his own Absolver"; this is in other words the same as crying Peace, where there is no peace, and mere shadows of repentance.
Here may be appended more quotations from letters written on this subject by Father Jones. "I feel thankful that you feel drawn to make your confession. I could not wish you a greater blessing. I went to my first confession when an undergraduate at Oxford in 1850, and I am thankful that I went, and I still go to confession from time to time. It is a help greater than I can tell you. I hope in time that A. will come to that, and no one will be more thankful than he when he has broken the ice and made a clean breast of all the past. I know because when husbands come they are most anxious their wives and children should come. Oh, what a blessed Easter you will have after making your first confession! Whatever you do-hide nothing from your confessor. Make a clean breast of all you can remember. My long and very extensive experience tells me what a blessing and comfort it is and has been to our people. It is quite an understood thing in confession that we confess our own sins, and in no way allude to any one else. It is not what ------ thought; when he heard his Aunt Sarah was going to confession, he got disturbed and said, 'Then she will go and divulge all our family secrets!' Well, I think I have said enough on this subject. All I can say, it has been the saving of me in the midst of the many temptations of life, and feeling thus I have helped all I can to get others to have the same benefits."
Here again is some very sensible and practical advice on the same subject written to the same correspondent: "As A. says he will not refuse to let you go to confession, I am sure you may take this as consenting, and act upon it,-but do not bother him about it by talking of what you are going to do or have done. You need not talk about your going to confession any more than you need talk about your going to your Easter Communion. I do not, however, wish you to be deceitful, so that if at some time A. asked you if you have been to confession, you must not deny it.
"In regard to the moral aspect of the case, a husband has no right to forbid his wife going to Holy Communion, or going to confession either: but I know you do not wish to consider the case as of A's rights, and your rights. Neither of you have probably ever thought of your rights, nor is there any need for your doing so now. He is a good husband and a good father, and you would rather not think of your rights or his rights, but wish to live as you have done, in mutual love and affection. ... I am perfectly clear you are justified in going to make your confession at once. I shall not be surprised to hear in a year or two that------and some others have followed your good example, but do not bother him on the subject."
And lastly we add this short extract from one of his letters: "After what you tell me about yourself the following verse has come to my mind over and over again, "Keep innocency and take heed unto the thing that is right; for that shall bring a man peace at the last (Ps. xxxvii. 38). Learn it and dwell on it. It is full of comfort for you."
Father Jones had a reputation for being "musical," but on what was this reputation founded? It was true, no doubt, but in a limited sense-e.g. he could not play any musical instrument. He had a fairly good ear, but not a very pleasant voice for singing; it was too nasal. He could not readily read music or render it accurately, and was certainly not a good timeist. Perhaps in his younger days he was more musical than later in life. He is said to have formed a Choral Society amongst the undergraduates of Jesus College, Oxford, and to have thrown himself into it with much energy; but one hardly ever knew him in later years to go to an opera if a company visited Cardiff, or to attend a concert. For one thing, he seemed of too restless a disposition to sit out an evening's performance. It would perhaps be true to .say he took a great interest in music, knew a great deal about it, made a "hobby" of it, and even had a great love for it. He was specially interested in Church music, and had the greatest love for a musical service. His church choir always occupied a large measure of his attention, and at one time he hardly ever missed being present at choir practice, entering into all the details of the work to be done. One of his little "fads" that amused those associated with him in his parish and church, and sometimes rather irritated them, was the number of books he would insist upon having on the Altar whilst he sung the Mass-the Missal, one or two books of private devotion, a book of Ritual Music with the noted Prefaces, etc., and the music of the service being rendered by the Choir; sometimes he would also have several scraps of paper with prayers written on them, or the names of persons for whom he wished to intercede. These various items made rather a litter, and often tended to delays and confusion in the service, though he was utterly unselfconscious and undisturbed, and went his own way serenely. One department of music was his special hobby and delight, viz. plain-song, or what is commonly spoken of as Gregorian music. This he knew a great deal about, and he always gave the heartiest welcome to the Rev. G. H. Palmer, who is one of the greatest authorities on plainsong, when he paid, as he often did, visits to S. Mary's Clergy House. These two never tired of the subject. Father Jones was associated with Rev. J. W. Doran in preparing and publishing a Welsh Psalter on the well-known system of marking by Doran and Nottingham; the system introduced by Father Jones at S. Mary's, Cardiff, and prevailing there and at several other churches in Cardiff to the present day.
Father Jones's love for plainsong amounted to a passion. He would sing out a plainsong melody, and say, "Beautiful, isn't it?" He would join with great gusto in all plainsong parts of the service; and would lament when he attended perhaps an elaborate service at some other Church where it was lacking, saying, "Yes, it was a beautiful Service, but no music to do a fellow good-no plainsong." He was quite persuaded that it was the right thing, real Church music, solemn and suitable to the words, especially of the Psalms. He would inveigh against so much florid music in the service, calling it "dance music," because barred and counted. "We don't want so much dance music in church," he would say; and was delighted with a story in one of Father Nihill's reports of S. Michael's, Shoreditch, of a little girl, who had always been used to plainsong in church, and the first time she heard an Anglican Chant, "picked up her skirts and danced up the aisle!"
Being thus minded, naturally Father Jones was quite determined that plainsong should prevail at his beloved Church of S. Mary the Virgin, Cardiff; and though a good deal of florid music for the Communion Service was rendered there, and on great Festivals the organ was supplemented by an orchestra, yet the Psalms, Canticles, and Office Hymns were always rendered to plainsong tones and melodies. Furthermore, Father Jones prepared a cycle of Introits and Graduals with their proper melodies, and published them in a small book called "The Grail," which, truth to say, was not appreciated as it ought to have been; and we fear some perverse-minded people miscalled the little volume "The Growl," which was slanderous and unkind!
Still we must admit an clement of justification, in that these "Grails" were not rendered in the most tasteful and perfect manner at all times; the devotees of modern music being somewhat impatient with them, and grudging the time and effort needful for a proper rendering. Indeed, truth to tell, there were many rebellions against plainsong, but Father Jones did not heed them. He said people fancied they didn't like it. Now and again there were rumours of getting up petitions to the Vicar to give up plainsong; but somehow such petitions never got presented. They were felt to be quite useless. Father Jones had a mind of his own, had made it up, knew his own mind, and would not swerve. "It won't be given up while I'm Vicar," he would say.
All this was not only because of his personal preference, but, as we said, because he felt it to be right-it was real Church music, most suited to its purpose, and therefore must be continued and upheld. Only enthusiasts can persevere in such a line as this, and people are not always aware of the debt they owe for the preservation of many precious though unappreciated things to those who wage war and hold the fort on their behalf. The ancient hymns of the Church with their proper ancient melodies are so many bulwarks of the Catholic Faith, which a flippant and frivolous age cannot afford to lose. They are a standing protest against the mawkish sentimentality and the flimsy, garish tunes of many popular hymns. Why bad poetry, bad music, and a good deal of bad doctrine which may be found in many so-called Mission Hymns should be thought to be converting agencies is more than puzzling. And so thought Father Jones when he stood up so valiantly and to the very last for plainsong.
THE TEMPERANCE QUESTION
Father Jones, whilst desiring by all means to promote real temperance, hated teetotalism, at any rate when pushed to the extreme it is by many people. Indeed, some people thought that in the recoil from fanatical teetotalism Father Jones was inclined to go too far on the side of laxity, not in his own life and practice, of course, but in the giving countenance to others in the matter of the use of intoxicating liquors.
The temperance question could not fail to meet him continually in a parish like S. Mary's, Cardiff, and he by no means ignored or shirked it. Frequently one finds in his diary entries to this effect, "Administered the pledge to a man." "Two women came to take the pledge." He advised that such help should be given to all who felt their own weakness in this respect, and knew that total abstinence was the only hope for "slaves of drink." But he would not acknowledge total abstinence as a counsel of perfection. He thought it rather a prop for the weak, and that it was better for a man and woman to be able to enjoy in moderation this, and all good gifts of God, than to renounce it altogether, A word of Holy Scripture implied this-"God hath given us all things richly to enjoy," to use and not to abuse, even "wine that maketh glad the heart of man."
He thought it better to combat this sin of intemperance by the general leaven of religion, and use of the Sacraments of the Church, than by temperance societies; to encourage people to join a Guild with a simple rule of holy living on all points, rather than a temperance society pure and simple. He deprecated making temperance the beginning, middle, and end of effort after righteousness, or elevating the virtue of temperance into a religion in itself. One has often heard him tell how he once asked a man, "What place of worship do you attend?" to which the answer came, "Oh, I don't go to any place; I'm a temperance man." This was, of course, an extreme ease, but he felt it showed a tendency somewhat widely relevant to regard temperance as the chief, if not the only, virtue to be aimed at.
He used to say of the two classes forming the Church of England Temperance Society, that he feared that the total abstainers were regarded as "the saints," and the moderate drinkers only tolerated, as "weaker brethren." Indeed, we have heard it maintained on teetotal platforms that the moderate drinkers are the worst. This Father Jones greatly and constantly resented. He dubbed such extreme views as really heretical, and would speak of those who preached them as "Manichaeans."
Once a priest of extreme teetotal views asked one of the clergy at S. Mary's why he took "that poison," meaning alcoholic beverage. Before he could reply the old Vicar cut in with the remark, "Oh, are you one of the Manichaean heretics? "
Father Jones greatly objected to repressive legislation in this matter, and considered that teetotalers in their perfervid zeal overreached themselves and defeated their own ends. Thus he lamented the passing of the Sunday Closing Act for Wales, and always maintained that it gave rise to a crop of evils, such as secret drinking, home drinking, bogus clubs, and shebeens, which increased rather than diminished the harm it was intended to avert. Not long after the Act came into force, Father Jones asked a working-man how he managed to get a glass of beer on Sunday if he wanted one. The man replied, "Oh, I and my pals have a cask in on Saturday. The first Sunday I had a glass in the morning and went for a walk: when I came back my pals had finished the cask. So now we manage better: we sit round and finish it together." Comment is needless. In one aspect he and every one would acknowledge this Act to be a blessing-viz. the freedom and relaxation from toil it gave to those connected with the liquor trade, amongst whom it is only right to note that Father Jones numbered some of his best and most devoted friends, and most temperate, just, and godly living persons. For himself he liked a glass of wine, made no secret of it, and knew no reason why he should not enjoy it. As his old friend Father Noel said once in catechising the children at S. Mary's, "Your Vicar and I bought some cherries in the market yesterday. There's no harm in a clergyman having cherries, if he pays for them;" so thought Father Jones about the glass of wine-it needed only to be paid for, and, of course, taken in moderation.
Apropos of this he used to speak of port wine as "Old Boy," from the following incident which had been related to him. An old clergyman in Suffolk sent for his doctor, when attacked by excruciating gout. "Ah," said the doctor," I'm afraid you've been having some port wine." "Well," responded he, "I got so tired of all the claret and hock and light wines that I went into my cellar and got a bottle of the best port. I drank it, and I said, 'Old boy, you're the king of them all.'" So "Old Boy" it was called to the last, though, we believe, Father Jones never had to pay the penalty of gout for his moderate potations. Another saying that greatly amused him, and came to be often used, arose thus. In the days when a journey to London occupied five or six hours, and we took a luncheon of sandwiches, and perhaps a little flask of something to drink, an old lady told her fellow-traveller, a clergyman seated next to her, that she was seventy-five years of age, and was so pleased at luncheon time to find he was not a teetotaler, and she felt able, without shocking him, to produce her little flask of port wine, for, said she, "You don't know what good a little does me." One recalls the dear old Father's twinkling eye even now, as he looked across the dinner-table and said, "Coe, you don't know what good a little does me." And it should be recorded that at Festivals he frequently invited his clergy to take a glass of wine with him. Yes, "a little," a little it was, and that is what needs to be remembered by all those for whose liberty in the Gospel he ever contended; but he was quite clear that the little need not be grudged or withheld. We wonder if all who insist so loudly on temperance as being identical with teetotal-ism have a record like our dear old friend in one aspect of temperance, viz. keeping the fasts of the Church. Till he was getting on in years it was his custom on all the weekdays of Lent and on other fast days to breakfast only on two ounces of dry bread and a cup of coffee, besides being particular to avoid flesh meat on certain days and to abstain from butter and other things. And here, too, it may be mentioned that he was most rigid to the very last in keeping the most absolute fast before celebrating or receiving Holy Communion from the previous midnight. The last time he sang the Mass at S. Mary's, at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, 1906, when he was in his 80th year, he observed, as he always had done, this rule of Holy Church. Can any one contend that Father Jones was no advocate of temperance?