Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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William Gouge on Covetousness

Of the Nature of Covetousness
Of the Practice of Covetousness in Getting Wealth
Of the Practice of Covetousness in Keeping Wealth
Of the Practice of Covetousness in Spending
Of the Heinousness of Covetousness
Of Remedies Against Covetousness
Of Well-Using Abundance
Of Examination of a Man's Self About Covetousness
Of Rules to Find Out Covetousness
Of Over-Rash Censuring Others of Covetousness
Of Contentedness. What It Is. The Grounds of Contentedness.

R.C. Sproul recently commented during his Tabletalk radio broadcast (24 May, 1996) that he has never heard a sermon about the Tenth Commandment. I suppose there are only two possible reasons for his experience: either we have no problems with this sin in the modern world, or else this sin is so endemic that we no longer notice it.

When I first began my professional career, I discovered that covetousness is indeed "a galling sin; it works a continual vexation," as Gouge describes. This portion of his Commentary on Hebrews was a remarkable corrective and comfort for me. May it be so for you.

Gouge created these summaries of his sermons himself. I thought it best for the Reader to hear Gouge's clear and colourful language without any intermediary.

I have included these "sections" (for that is what Gouge called them) in Fire and Ice not only because of their experiential value. They are also a good example of the balance and care that the Puritans used in addressing the problems of life. Gouge addresses not only the nature and seriousness of covetousness, but much more as well. He goes on to elaborate the remedies of the sin, describe what it is not, give a guide to self-examination, and enjoin positive Biblical virtues. He applies all of the Bible to all of life: a hallmark of Reformed theology at its best.

In case you are interested, I am told that it is most likely that Mr Gouge pronounced his name "Gooch."

By the same author:
On Preaching the Word of God
See also Richard Baxter's Directions Against Covetousness (63K)

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