Of the Practice of Covetousness in Spending 

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


A covetous practice in spending is manifested two ways:

1.   By spending too sparingly and too miserly in all things, as when men hoard their wealth; so that they live beneath where God has called them to live and to that place, so as they regard not decency in apparel or other like things, as when they afford not necessaries to themselves or to those that are under their charge: these are parsimonious pinch-pennies.

Thus does the wise man set out such a one, ‘A man to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that he wants nothing for his soul of all that he desires: yet God gives him not power to eat thereof,’ Eccl. 6:2.

2.   By being too prodigal in some things, as in housekeeping, in apparel, in their pleasures on themselves, wives, children, and they are too strait-handed and mean in all works of charity, and in contributions to church and state.

Nabal was such a one. He made a feast in his house ‘like the feast of a king,’ but yet refused to refresh David’s soldiers in their necessity with any part of his provision, 1 Sam. 25:11,36. And such a one was the rich man; he ‘clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day,’ yet he refused to feed Lazarus with the crumbs that fell from his table, Luke 16:19, etc. These may be counted pound-prodigal, and penny-covetous misers.


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