Arthur Dent (d.1607) was an English Puritan author and preacher. He was born at Melton, Leicestershire. He matriculated as a pensioner of Christ’s College, Cambridge, in November 1571. He graduated B.A. in 1575–6, and M.A. in 1579.
Dent served as curate for three years to George Withers, at Danbury, Essex. He was on 17 December 1580 instituted to the rectory of South Shoebury, Essex, on the presentation of Robert Rich, 2nd Baron Rich. In 1582 he was one of the witnesses examined in support of charges brought against Robert Wright, a Puritan minister. About 1584 Dent himself was in trouble with John Aylmer, his diocesan bishop, for refusing to wear the surplice and omitting the sign of the cross in baptism. His name is appended to the petition sent to the lords of the council by twenty-seven ministers of Essex, who refused to subscribe the declaration “that there is nothing contained in The Book of Common Prayer contrary to the Word of God.”
Dent died of a fever after three days’ illness about the end of 1607. He left a widow. Ezekiel Culverwell, in dedicating an edition of The Ruin of Rome to Lord Rich remarked on Dent’s diligence. He was considered a good preacher, and his printed sermons ran to numerous editions. [More via Wikipedia]
The Works of Arthur Dent:
The Hand-Maid of Repentance.
[web via EEBO]
Or, “A Short Treatise of Restitution.” An appendix to his “Sermon of Repentance.”
The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven. (366 pages)
[pdf epub mobi txt web via Internet Archive]
This was one of the two books that John Bunyan read during the four years of spiritual struggle that eventually led to his conversion and subsequent writing of The Pilgrim’s Progress. (The other title was The Practice of Piety by Lewis Bayly.) This work also influenced Richard Baxter, who in 1674 recast it as The Poor Man’s Family Book.
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