|James M. Willson|
Reformed Worldview Books
In an article on capital punishment in the Philadelphia Covenanter periodical (not to be confused with the Belfast Covenanter), edited by James M. Willson, the author contrasted the Gnostic or Marcionite view of the Old Testament’s penal laws held by John Paul, with the true Covenanter position adhered to by Thomas Houston:
Were the law which God gave to Moses admitted authority, there would be an end of this controversy [over capital punishment]; but the prevailing sentiment of the present day seems to be that of the Gnostics, who taught that the God of Israel was the devil, and that Jesus Christ came to destroy his power, and deliver men from his tyranny! The editor of the New York Tribune is wonderfully scandalized at being charged with infidelity; and yet he quotes, without remark, a passage from the Lynn Record, in which an “eye for an eye,” &c., is termed infernal policy! Dr. Paul, of Ireland, (once a Covenanter,) calls the laws of the Old Testament Thomas Houston’s bloody laws! In this he offers a double insult to the Divine Majesty; first, in calling his laws bloody; secondly, by calling them Thomas Houston’s.
Covenanter, Jan. 1847, pp 163-4.