Thomas Gouge (1605-1681)

A Presbyterian Pastor and Puritan

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

“God can relieve the poor, and do good to other men without us, but it is our honor to be made his stewards, and his great mercy to us, to receive that honor, yea, to have a willing heart though we want a purse.”

Biography of Thomas Gouge (1605-1681):

Thomas Gouge, English Puritan (1605 — October 29, 1681) was the son of William Gouge and a noted minister in his own right. He was ejected from his pulpit for nonconformity in 1662. He was known for his generosity and charity throughout his ministry and one of his greatest contributions was his sermon on charity. At the age of 57 he was removed from his pulpit for nonconformity and spent his latter years in “evangelism and acts of charity.”

He was known for his faithful attendance of the sick and his generosity to the poor, distributing alms among them once a week. He provided hemp and flax for the unemployed to spin, and even sold their products for them!…Gouge lost many possessions to London’s Great Fire, but he bore the loss with patience and humility. He had a large estate from his father, which he used to help the poor. After giving portionsof the estate to his

children, he was left with and income of 150 pounds per year (roughly $40,000 per year by today’s standards). Of that amount, he gave two-thirds to charity and lived on 50 pounds (around $13,000 per year by today’s standards).

Again, having wealth is not bad but can be good, the love of money is what is wrong. Many of us are richer than we realize. We have more money than we need to supply our needs. Even many who have debt and do not feel financial freedom, have this debt because of extra wants and not basic needs. Some may think they do not struggle with the issue of wealth because they don’t have much, but seated deep within the love of money drives them. Learn from Thomas Gouge that our riches are increased by giving.

His Works:

  1. Christian Directions, shewing how to walk with God all the day long (London, 1690).
  2. The principles of Christian religion explained to the capacity of the meanest (London : R. Gifford, and are to be sold by the booksellers of London, 1690).
  3. God’s call to England, for thankfulness after gracious deliverances: wherein is shewed, that our deliverances, not answered with Reformation, will be followed with sorest destruction. (1680).
  4. The young man’s guide through the wilderness of this world to the heavenly Canaan shewing him how to carry himself Christian-like in the whole course of his life (1676).
  5. A Word to Sinners, and a Word to Saints (a treatise on regeneration) (1668).
  6. The Surest and Safest Way of Thriving or, A Conviction of that Grand Mistake in many, That what is given to the Poor, is a loss to their estate; which is directly contrary as to the experiences of the Charitable; so to the testimony of God’s Spirit in divers places of Scripture, (1673). Or, Riches Increas’d by giving to the poor. Repr (London, 1856).

Bible Verse:

“A bishop (elder) then must be…able to teach.” (1 Timothy 3:2).

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