OF all men I have been brought in contact with there are few whose personality has impressed me more than the subject of this Memoir. My close intercourse with him was in connection with the Mission I conducted in his parish at Cardiff, but the impression that left on me was deep and abiding. I thank God that He brought me into touch with him, and for the friendship in which this issued.
Arthur Jones was emphatically n pastor of the flock entrusted to him, as I knew him and his work at Cardiff. The three pastoral virtues which S. Paul taught S. Timothy were the gift of the Great Head of the Church to His ministers were marked features of his character and ministry: he was a strong, loving, disciplined man--a man strikingly human, but with a humanity beautified by grace.
He was a strong man, a man whose inner nature was in harmony with his physical frame. He was strong in his convictions, strong in loyalty to them in utterance and in conduct, strong in his splendid courage (I do not think that he knew what the fear of man was), strong in his invincible determination of purpose, strong in his love of righteousness, strong in his devotion to Christ and His Church--and all this because he was "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus."
But he was also a man of love--a tender-hearted man who felt deeply, though he acted strongly. Those who knew him best knew the tenderness of his nature. In him strength was tempered with love, and especially with one of its most winsome forms, pastoral love--that lore which flows into the true pastor out of the heart of the Good Shepherd, a love as beautiful as it is unique. How he loved His people! How he loved them and bore with them and sympathized with them in the specially difficult and dangerous moral conditions of his parish! How he loved the children, above all! What signs of this were visible to those who went about his parish with him! He knew his people, and they knew him. He called them by name; he gave his life for them. And they knew it, and gave him love for love.
And through all he was a man in whose character sophronismos was a marked feature. What a difficult work it is to translate the variations in its rendering shows! But to me it seems to be one with that virtue of prudentia of which S. Gregory writes so strongly in his De Pastorale Curâ. It is that virtue of correctness of judgment and of self-discipline in action which gives practical guidance in the conduct of life. It is sanctified common-sense. Superficial observers of Arthur Jones might have denied him the possession of this virtue. They would have said of him, at such times as that of his earlier years in Cardiff, that however strong he was, he was not a man of common sense. But they were mistaken. He saw clearly the end he wished to reach, but he never ceased to keep that end clearly in view He reached to it by strong action and regardless of present results; but he was never the slave of his own strength--he had himself in hand, he had the power of long-sightedness, and this was based on his crystal purity of intention, which rested on his devotion to and love of our Blessed Lord. His character and life were Christ-centred. In the true sense of the word he was an Evangelical Catholic who loved, confessed, and taught the truth as it is in Jesus.
In him was manifested the power of the Holy Ghost, and in him the grace of God was magnified. It is this that makes me thankful that this Memoir has been written by one who knew him well and loved him much. I trust it may provoke many of us to give ourselves up more than ever in whole self-consecration to God, and to a stronger belief in that gift of the Holy Ghost which is in us through the laying on of hands.
THE LODGE, DURHAM, December 1907.