Richard Hale

The Life And Testimony Of Richard Hale

The Sower 1896:

Richard Hale was for many years Vicar of Harewood, Yorkshire. He was a most faithful champion for “the truth as it is in Jesus.” He was one of a family of seventeen children, and was early designed for the ministry. In his youthful days of unregeneracy he was associated with the Prince Regent, afterwards George IV, and it was not until he had been some years a preacher that he was brought to a knowledge of the truth. He had a small wen formed on his foot, which baffled the skill of physicians, and made amputation necessary, and during this affliction the Lord opened his eyes, quickened his soul, and made him a new creature in Christ Jesus, so that when after some absence he returned to his flock, it was to testify of what he himself had experienced, what he had tasted, handled, and felt of the Word of life, and he was most faithful in his testimony. He used to say to his people, “I lied to the Holy Ghost when I was ordained to take upon me the office of the ministry, and not ‘to serve God for the promoting of His glory and the edifying of His people.'”

On one occasion Lord Harewood entertained at Harewood House some noblemen and high dignitaries of the Church, the frivolities and feasting being kept up until a late hour on Saturday night, or probably early on the Sabbath morning. They were at church on the Sabbath, and Mr. Hale, during his discourse, turned towards the family pew, openly rebuked their sin, and said, “These be they that profess to show unto us the way of salvation.” Of course, this was too much for them. A charge of brawling was brought against Mr. Hale, and he was silenced for six months, but it was only to renew his strength for further labours. At the expiration of this time he again stood up before his people, and many came from all parts to hear him.

The Duchess of Kent and the Princess Victoria (now our Queen) were once visitors at Harewood House, and as they were to attend church while there, Mr. Hale had prepared a sermon for the occasion; but the then Archbishop of York, fearing the plain truth might offend, at the last moment, as it were, despatched a message to say that himself would be there to preach the sermon, which was felt as an insult by Mr. Hale. But nevertheless, through much persecution and opposition the Lord supported him until, as a shock of corn fully ripe, he was gathered to the heavenly garner.

From the foregoing account it will be seen that Mr. Hale met with much hatred and persecution for the truth’s sake whilst be was Vicar of Harewood, so that in writing as he does in the following article he knew and had experienced what he wrote about. In his time he published many tracts of intrinsic worth, and wrote many articles and pieces for various publications, particularly the Gospel Magazine, where his signature was reversed thus, “Elah.” And, blessed be God, the truths he loved and contended for still live, and are the joy of the living in Jerusalem, though hated and despised by those who know not their worth.

Richard Hale (1773-1854) was an Anglican High-Calvinist preacher. He served for many years as Vicar of Harewood.