Humphrey Hardwicke (n.d.)An active Westminster Puritan and preacher who pressed the need for Reformation.
“Those that attempt reformation, work against the grain, row against the stream, and shall find the work tedious and difficult.”
Biography of Humphrey Hardwicke:
Little information exists on Humphrey Hardwicke, and the dates surrounding his birth and death are undiscovered. We do know he was a persecuted puritan, and was the minister at Hadammagna, in the county of Hertford. He was chosen as one of the additional members of the assembly of divines, added after the initial commencement. He is represented by Daniel Neal as attending constantly during the session.
Hardwicke suffered under the prelatical tyranny, and, during the war, his house was ransacked, and his whole library carried away by the king’s army. He was in this instance, reduced to poverty, and after this did not have any funds in which to purchase a single book of any importance. He had been silenced by the bishops on numerous occasions.
At the commencement of the civil war, he took part with parliament, and joined the army, with which he remained during the greater part of that brutal period.
In a sermon, preached before the House of Commons, he categorizes himself among the silenced puritans, and in the dedication of that work to the House, attached to the same sermon, he says,
“No man, I presume, has more reason to apologize than myself, having been, for a long time, deprived of my library, which was wholly plundered; besides being, from the commencement of this war, until the last month, entirely conversant with arms, where study is almost wholly interrupted. But this I account part of my greatest happiness, to have suffered much for the cause of Christ, and to have rendered some little service, to my weeping country.”
Mr. Hardwicke was an active promoter of the Reformation. In order to stir up fervency in his hearers, he says, in this important work, in the same sermon,
“Search the book of God, and tell me, whether any description of men are so precious in the estimation of heaven, as those who have been courageous in defending the cause of God, and promoting the Reformation of his church? Make note of the fortitude displayed by Caleb and Joshua, while the rest of their associates, whose timidity had magnified the size and prowess of their enemies, and the strength of their bulwarks, meanly shrunk from the noble enterprise, and lost their part and portion in the land of promise.”
He was a spirited supporter for the Solemn League and Covenant and the suppression of the prelatical government of the church. One of his sermons has been published with the title, The Difficulty of Zion’s Deliverance (which is part of the volume Published by Puritan Publications), together with the activity which her friends should manifest while her cause is in agitation—delivered at Margaret’s church, Westminster, before the House of Commons, on Wednesday morning, the 26th June 1644. Reid says this sermon is, “a valuable sermon.”