Jones, John

, an English divine of some note for exciting a controversy respecting the Liturgy, was born in 1700, and is supposed to have been a native of Carmarthen. He was admitted of Worcester college, Oxford, where he took the degree of B. A. about 1721, and quitted the university in or before 1726, in which year he received priest’s orders at Buckden, from Dr. Reynolds, bishop of Lincoln. He had a curacy in that diocese, but in what partis not known. In 1741 he was resident at | AbbotsRipton in Huntingdonshire, and soon after was presented to the vicarage of Alconbury, which he resigned in 1751 for the rectory of Boulne-Hurst in Bedfordshire. In 1755 he was vicar of Hitchin, and in 1759 accepted the curacy of Welwyn from Dr. Young, and continued there until 1765, when that celebrated poet died, and Mr. Jones was appointed one of his executors. He afterwards returned to Boulne-Hurst, and probably obtained no other preferment. He was killed by a fall from his horse in going to Abbots-Ripton, but in what year we have not been able to discover, although such a circumstance must have been known to his friends, who, however, have neglected to record it. After his death, many, if not all his manucripts, passed into the hands of the Rev. Thomas Dawson, M. D. a dissenting minister of Hackney, whence they passed to the dissenters’ library in Redcross-street. Some biographical notices which have appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine were extracted from them. Mr. Nichols has given an extensive series of extracts from his literary correspondence with Dr. Birch, from which many particulars of his talents and character may be gleaned. His chief work was entitled “Free and Candid Disquisitions,” published in 1749. These contained many observations on the defects and improprieties in the liturgical forms of faith and worship of the established church, and proposals of amendments and alterations of such passages as were liable to reasonable objections. There was also a compilation of authorities taken from the writings of some eminent divines of the church of England, with a view to shew the necessity, or at least the expedience, of revising the liturgy, &c. Schemes like this have succeeded each other since the time of Dr. Clarke, but have never been attended with complete conviction, either of their necessity or expedience. The author’s name did not appear to this publication, and Mr. Blackburne, whom he consulted previous to publication, was dissatisfied with his timidity. He wrote, however, a pamphlet in defence of it, and other pamphlets appear pro and con; but the controversy was of no long duration. In 1765 he published “Catholic Faith and Practice,” and “A Letter to a Friend in the Country;” but with the subjects of these we are unacquainted. 1


Nichols’s Bo wyer. —Gent. Mag. LXXXI. Parti, p. 510.