Goch John of
Goch John Of, more properly John Pupper, was born in the little city of Goch in the beginning of the 15th century. Dissatisfied with the Church of Rome, he, like some others at that time, wished for a reformation, and insisted on the free use of the Scriptures. There is no accurate history of his life; all that is known is that he established an order of canonessens at Mechlin in 1451, attempted to introduce reform in the convents of that place, and for twenty-four years acted as father confessor of the deaconesses at Thalsor. He died March 28, 1475. He was a man of great piety, and, though less vigorous than his friend Wessel, he was a better theologian than Thomas i Kempis. His principal works are, De liberitate christians, edited by Corn. Grapheus (Antw. 1521), and Dialoaqus de quatuor erroribus circa lea evangelicasm exortis, in Walch's Monumementa medii aevi. The writings of Goch contain many reformatory ideas. He demanded that the Bible should chiefly be explained by itself, and laid great stress on love, on living piety, and especially on evangelical freedom. As an obstacle to the latter, he regarded the episcopal dignity, with its hierarchical elevation, above the priestly, which, in his opinion, was the highest in the-Church. An excellent sketch of Goch, and of his relations to theology and Church reform, is given by Ullmann, Reformers before the Reformation, 1:17-157; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5:220 sq.