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We have many laudable examples in the Old Testament of idolatry being punished by execution: Moses drew the sword against idolaters (Exo. 32:27); the children of Israel resolved to go out to war against the Reubenites and Gadites, when they understood that they were building another altar (Josh. 22:12). Elijah commanded to slay the priests of Baal (1 Ki. 18:40). In Asa’s time there was a covenant for putting to death such as would not seek the Lord God of their fathers (2 Ch. 15:13). Jehu slew the priests of Ahab, and the worshippers of Baal (2 Ki. 10:11, 24), first searching and making sure that there were none of the servants of the Lord among them (2 Ki. 10: 23). Josiah sacrificed the priests of Samaria upon their own altars (2 Ki. 23:20). Nebuchadnezzar, although a heathen, being convinced that there was no god like the God of Israel, made a decree that whosoever speaks blasphemy, or utters any error against God, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses made a dunghill (Dan. 3:29).
- George Gillespie, Wholesome Severity Reconciled with Christian Liberty (1644), at http://www.naphtali.com/articles/george-gillespie/wholesome-severity/