Of the Practice of Covetousness in Keeping Wealth

Being Gouge’s own summaries of his sermons on Covetousness from his Commentary on Hebrews, Courtesy of Puritan Sermons – Fire & Ice
Written by, William Gough, Puritan, 1575-1653


Covetousness in keeping wealth is practiced two ways:

  1. Covetousness is practiced when men hoard up all that they can, though they obviously have enough for the present, but they do so in fear against the possibility of being in some way inconvenienced or lacking something in the future. They treasure up, or hoard, whatever they can find. But I tell you, so did the rich fool in the Gospel. Though his ground was bearing fruit plentifully, his selfish mind was completely set upon enlarging his barns to “lay up for many years to come,” and this, just for himself. See Luke 12, etc.The wise man, Solomon, highlights and brings out this covetousness in practice, ‘There is one, he is alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches,’ Eccl. 4:8. Here the writer is bringing out those people who are consumed about themselves and what is going to happen to them…. For life seems to be only about them.  Their thoughts are centered around what might happen to them tomorrow. As a result, these people seem to always have a troubled spirit, for their lives are spent worrying about the possibilities of what might happen at some future time to them, –which is something that Christ expressly forbids in Matt 6:34. They think and plan so that while everybody else may be hungry or in  want, they themselves, will have it made.
  1. These men hoard up only for themselves, and they are really showing that they care not about the future of God’s church; they are not concerned about the members of God’s family, and they are not showing concern about what the saints might have against times of need and trial. As a result, their lives show that they do not care about others, neither do they seek to provide for the flock of the poor.


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