Brooks - BX9338 .B7 1813 v2

112 LIVES OF THE PURITANS. charge to instruct and teach our people in the way of life; and every one of us hearing this sounded from the God of heaven, Woe be unto me, if Ipreach not the gospel, we`have all endeavoured to discharge our duties, and to approve our- selves both to God and man. Notwithstanding this, we are in great heaviness, and some of us already put to silence, and the rest living in fear; not that we have been, or can be charged, we hope, with false doctrine, or slanderous life : but because we refuse to subscribe that there is nothing contained in the Book of Common Prayer contrary to the word of God. We do protest in the sight of God, who searcbeth all hearts, that we do not refuse from a desire to dissent, or from any sinister affection'; but in the fear of God, and from the necessity of conscience." A. circum- stantial account of this petition, signed by twenty-seven ministers, is given in another place.* Mr. Dent was author of a work, entitled 4, The Ruine of Rome ; or, an Exposition of Revelation ;" in the dedica- tion of which, Mr. Ezekiel Culverwell gives the following account of the author :-" To give some public testimony of my love towards him, and reverence of the rare grace which we all, who enjoyed his sweet society, did con- tinually behold in him, whose learning his labours do chew; and whose diligence, yea extreme and unwearied pains in his ministry, publicly, privately, at home and abroad, for at least four and twenty years, all our country can testify. All which being adorned with such special humility, do make his name the greater, and our loss the more grievous. I may not leave out this, which I avow to be as certain as it is singular, that, besides all others his great labours, he had a special care of all the churches} night and day, by study and fervent prayer, procuring the prosperity of Zion, and the ruin of Rome. And to end with his blessed end : his life was not more profitable to others than his death was peaceable to himself; scarcely a groan was heard, though his fever must needs have been violent which dispatched him in three days. Havingmade a pithy confession of his faith, this faith,' said he, have I preached ; this faith have I believed in ; this faith do die in; and this faith would I have sealed with my blood, if God had so thought good ; and tell my brethren so.' He afterwards said, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid * See Art. George Gifford.