Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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Sec. 52.

Of the Practice of Covetousness in Spending

by William Gouge

A covetous practice in spending is manifested two ways:

1. By spending too sparingly and too niggardly in all things, as when men live under their degree and place, when they regard not decency in apparel or other like things, when they afford not necessaries to themselves or to those that are under their charge- these are pinch-pennies. Thus doth the wise man set out such a one, 'A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth: yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof,' Eccles. vi. 2.

2. By being too prodigal in some things, as in housekeeping, in apparel, in their pleasures on themselves, wives, and children, but are too strait-handed 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. xxv. 11, 36. And such a one was Dives; he was 'clothed himself in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day,' yet refused to feed Lazarus with the crumbs that fell from his table, Luke xvi. 19, etc. These may be counted pound-prodigal, and penny-covetous.

Of the Heinousness of Covetousness

Index to William Gouge on Covetousness


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