JONES, JOHN (CYNDDYLAN) (1841 - 1930), preacher and theologian

Name: John (Cynddylan) Jones
Date of birth: 1841
Date of death: 1930
Child: E. Norman Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: preacher and theologian
Area of activity: Religion
Authors: James Ednyfed Rhys, Evan David Jones

Born 27 February 1841, at Capel Dewi, Cardiganshire. He was for some time a pupil at the school of John Evans, Aberystwyth. He and John Rhys were both appointed pupil-teachers at Penllwyn because the schoolmaster could not choose between them. For a while he kept a school himself near the site of the town clock in Aberystwyth. His pupils were candidates for the ministry, young boys anxious to succeed in business and sailors.

The revival of 1859 deeply affected him and soon afterwards he moved to London. There, under the stimulating influence of Owen Thomas and David Charles Davies, he quite naturally became inclined towards the ministry. As the Calvinistic Methodists were reluctant to support his candidature, he entered Bala College in 1864 as a lay student. Nevertheless, he was not deterred from crossing swords with the Principal, Lewis Edwards, on the topic of the Doctrine of Atonement. He went to Treveca College in 1865 and on completing a course in 1867 he accepted a call to serve as minister of the English Presbyterian church at Pontypool. He married there but as his stipend was insufficient to maintain his family, even though he turned to journalism to supplement his income, he returned to London. In 1869 he took charge of the Congregational church in Offord Road, Pentonville, subsequently succeeding Thomas Jones as minister of Bedford Congregational church, Charrington Street, where Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson occasionally heard him preach.

According to the Congregational Year Book for 1875 he was 'late Bedford Chapel ', having commenced his ministry at the English Presbyterian church in Frederick St. (C.M.) church, Cardiff on 15 November 1874. His ministry at Frederick Street was at first very successful, but gradually he introduced a form of ritual into the church worship. The innovation (1880) caused dissension, with the result that he resigned the pastorate in 1888. During 1887-1889 he published a series of articles in the Western Mail under the pseudonym of ' Non Con Quill,' in which various institutions and prominent persons were severely criticized.

He was secretary of the Bible Society in south Wales from 1887 to 1909. During the twenty-one years of his deputation work on behalf of the Bible Society he came into prominence as a Welsh preacher. He was an assiduous and ardent student. He was moderator of the South Wales C.M. Association in 1894, and of the General Assembly in 1901. In 1912 he went to America on a preaching tour.

While ministering to English churches he published a number of expository volumes which attracted much attention, e.g. Studies in Matthew, Studies in Luke, Studies in John, The Book of Acts, The Epistles of Peter, and also Eternal Truth in the Eternal City, an exposition of the Letter to the Romans. [Luke does not appear in the catalogues of the N.L.W. nor the B.L. as one of his series of Studies.] At a later period he published Welsh commentaries on the Gospel according to S. John, and the Epistle to the Philippians, Yr Epistol at y Colossiaid, a volume of sermons, Athrylith a Gras, Cysondeb y Ffydd (4 vols.), and Primeval Revelation (Davies Lecture, 1896), studies of the first eight chapters of Genesis. He was also co-editor with Edward Matthews, Ewenny, of the memoir of the Rev. J. Harris Jones.

He married 3 times and left a son of the first marriage, E. Norman Jones, a Professor at Aberystwyth Theological College. He died 15 June 1930.


Published date: 1959

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