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originally from Tiverton, was the Eldest of
four Sons of the Rev. Robert Chilcot of Exeter,
who were all Clergymen of the Church of
England. He was of Balliol College, Oxford,
and took the Degree of B.A. O&t. 16, 1683
M. A. Dec. I, 1686. He subsequently became
Rector of the Parish of St. George the Martyr,
Exeter ; in which City he died on the 30th of
May, 1711, aged 48 years, and was buried on
the North side of the Communion Rails of his
Parish Church, which was pulled down some
few years ago. On a Monument erected to
his Daughter's Memory was added the follow-
ing Inscription : *

Nec non
Ipfius Gulielmi Chilcot A.M hujus
Ecclesiæ poft nullum memorandi
Rectoris qui poft annos Vitæ
Mortalis 48 reverà Cæpit Vi-
vere 30° die Maij A.D. 1711.

'Αποθανών έτι λαλείται.

His little Book was first published in a small 8vo. Exon, 1698. A Volume of Singular Rarity. It was reprinted 12mo. London, 1734. Also an exceedingly scarce Book. W. Win

* For this Copy, and for much kindness, I am indebted to Rev. G. H. Parminter, Rector of St. John and St. George, Exeter.

stanley Hull, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, published a very small Edition in 32mo. 1835; but it was imperfect, wanting the Prayer at the End, as he was unable to procure a perfect Copy of the Original. The present Edition is a careful Collation of that of 1734, with the rare Original of Exeter, 1698. The Public having favourably received the Impression I edited in 1851, I have spared no pains to render this as accurate as possible. The following Curious Account of the Cause of our Author's writing this Work may be interesting. It is taken from the Autobiography of Samuel Eyles Pierce, a well-known Diffenting Minister, published London, 1824. Mr. Pierce was the Grandson of Rev. Joseph Chilcot, the Author's Brother, and Vicar of Up-Ottery, Devon. « The present Mr. Chilcot, of Truro, has in his poffeffion a printed · Treatise on the Origin of Evil Thoughts,' written by Mr. William Chilcot, of Exeter; the occasion of which was as follows:

-A devout lady of Exeter was at times subject to Melancholy, and was tempted to destroy herself, and attempted the same, but was prevented in time from accomplishing her purpose. She afterwards made known the Cause of her Melancholy in Confidence to Mr. William Chilcot, who kept it a profound Secret, but made an Improvement upon the Circumstance, so as to write the above-mentioned Book. In

consequence of the afore-cited Circumstance, many of the devout People of Exeter would not retire to their private Devotions without their Servant or some Person with them.”*

I have only to add my sincere Thanks for the Kindness and Courtesy of J. G. Chilcot, Esq. of Truro, the lineal Descendant of the Author's Second Brother Joseph, who has afforded me every Facility in my Enquiries. He informs me that the Portrait of this excellent Writer is now in his possession.


St. Stephen's, Westminster,

Advent, 1853.

* “A True Outline and Sketch of the Life of Samuel Eyles Pierce, Minister of the Everlasting Gospel, written by himself, and printed in 1824 in the Seventyninth Year of his Age.” Page 2, note.


To the Inhabitants of the Parishes of

St. John, St. George the Martyr, and
All-Hallows on the Walls, in the
City of Exon.

HE following Treatise contains the

Substance of several Discourses deUAG livered to you from the Pulpit. The Subject of it is undeniably most useful, and of the greatest Importance to our eternal Welfare; and the more I consider of it, the more I am persuaded of its Moment. And because it is a Matter of Difficulty too, and requires more lasting Attention of the Mind, than any Perfon, how well foever disposed, can give to Sermons when Spoken, x The Epistle Dedicatory. I thought fit to publish it, that so you might have these Directions always before you, which I hope may somewhat assist you in the Performance of so great a Work. And as a Testimony of my great Respect, and an Acknowledgment of the many Obligations I have received from you, I have dedicated them to you, the rather hoping that you will the more seriously and earnestly apply them. Whatever Defeets there are in this Treatise, I hope my Sincerity will be sufficient Prote&tion to the Meanness of my Endeavours; all my Aim being to contribute to your Spiritual, and eternal Advantage ; which is, and shall be always, Part of the constant and earnest Prayer of, Your daily Orator at the Throne


Exon, May 2, 1698.

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