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Evil Thoughts :
Wherein their Nature, Origin, and Effect are
distinctly Considered and Explained:
With m y jseful Rules for restraining and suppreffing
By WILLIAM CHILCOT, M. A.
For the Lord searcheth all Hearts, and understandeth all the
Imaginations of the Thoughts. i Chron. xxviii. 9.
of St. Thomas', Southwark.
VAT is with sincere Pleasure that I offer
excellent little Treatise to the Notice
of the Public. The Importance of the Subject must be obvious to all. The Duty of “ bringing into Captivity every Thought to the Obedience of Christ,” (2 Cor. ix. 5) is so necessary for the Attainment of that Holiness “ without which no Man shall see the Lord,” (Heb. xii. 14); of that internal Purity of Heart, to which alone is annexed the Promise of the Blessed Vision of God, (Matt. v. 8); that any Rules for our Guidance in performing it must be hailed with Joy by those who are earnestly striving to walk in the strait Path which leadeth to Everlasting Life. But while the Government of the Thoughts in general is a Subject in which we are all deeply interested, there are some special Kinds of Evil Thoughts which require a more particular Notice, and
with Toydance in percera 8)
his little apters, and fated by thens under theand
haven been a
which are apt to cause much Anxiety and Trouble to those who are labouring under them. These have been treated by the Author in diftinct Chapters, and form the chief Design of this little Book. Persons afflicted in this way, as even the best of us are liable to be, are frequently met with in the Ministrations of the Parochial Clergy; and it has often been a Matter of Regret to me that I have not been able to place in the Hands of those who have come under my own immediate Observation some such Work as the present. It was therefore with no sight Pleasure that I first met with it. Thinking that many of my Reverend Brethren may have felt a similar Want, I have been induced to republish it.
It would be well to remind the Afflicted Persons that the Sinfulness of Evil Thoughts consists only so far as we indulge them. It is almost impossible to entirely prevent them from arising in our Minds ; they will come ; but we may choose whether we will entertain them or not. It is in our Power to do much towards hindering their Growth, and rejecting them when they present themselves to us. It has been prettily observed, * “ In the little Garden of the Mind, ill Thoughts, like Weeds, will
ome such a my ow Hands of
* Seed's Works, Vol. I. Sermon Ix. ed. 1745.
and, Lily strive to requires of sautiful Plaate and
spring up; they are the native Produce of the Soil. But if we take Care to root them up as fast as possible, as well as to cultivate and cherish each generous and beautiful Plant, this is all that God requires of us.” If then we steadily strive to conquer our Evil Thoughts, and, under the Gracious Influences of the Holy Spirit, to replace them with Good and Holy Ones, if we till the Soil of our Hearts, we shall find that God will vouchsafe a Blessing upon our Endeavours, and give unto us that Peace, that inward Tranquillity and Heavenly-mindedness which the World cannot give. But we must work. “Good Thoughts will not court our Acquaintance, and make the first Advances to us; but if we often read and meditate on religious Subjects, if we at stated Hours invite them to come and make their Abode with us, they will at last come without waiting for the Formality of a set Invitation.”* And I think the Rules in this little Volume will contribute much to our Progress in this Work, viz: the Control of our Evil, and Cultivation of Good, Thoughts. But of this I must leave the Reader to judge.
William Chilcot, the Author, descended from an ancient and respectable Devonshire Family,
* Seed, ut fuprà.