by Rev. George Smeaton, D.D.
The present volume is intended to be the first portion of a larger whole, which if completed, will exhibit the entire New Testament teaching on the subject of the atonement. I purposed to survey the whole testimony of our Lord and of His apostles; beginning with the former as fundamental. But as the subject grew in my hands, it was found necessary to reserve, in the meantime, the consideration of the apostolic testimony.
In these pages I have examined, according to the rules of exact interpretation, what Jesus taught on the subject of the atonement, and have given a classification of His sayings and an outline of the doctrine. This seems to be urgently demanded in our times. The necessity of correctly ascertaining, by the only means within our reach, what the Lord actually taught on this point, cannot be overstated, when we direct any measure of attention to modern thought, and to the conflicting views, often as ill-digested by their propounders as perplexing to the minds of others, which are at present given forth on the nature, design, and effect of the Lord's death. The one-sided views on this great theme, held not by scoffers at vital religion, but by earnest men, actually though not willingly deviating from biblical truth, are not to be corrected by any human authority, nor even by an appeal to the Church's past, which yet, as the voice of our mother, is entitled to some amount of deference. They can be effectually confronted and silenced only by the explicit testimony of the Church's Lord. The doctrine will stand there, but will stand nowhere else. And every true disciple has this distinctive feature about him, that he hears the voice of Christ, but a stranger's voice will he not follow.
My task in this work has been simply to determine, by strict exegetical investigation, the import of Christ's words, and to reproduce His thoughts by the exact interpretation of language. I have no other desire than to ascertain what He did say, and to abide by it. The principle on which alone it is safe to carry on investigations into doctrine on any point, is, I am fully persuaded, to go to the Scriptures, not for the starting-point of thought alone, but for the substance of thought as well, or for the rounded and concrete development of the doctrine in all its elements: and these will be found in Christ's sayings, if we but patiently investigate them. It is not, then, to the Christian consciousness that I appeal with some modern teachers, nor to Christian feeling and Christian reason with others, but to the consciousness and sayings of the Great Teacher, and of His commissioned servants, employed as His organs of revelation to the Church of all time.
Table of Contents
Preface to The Second Edition.
CHAPTER I. THE SOURCES OF OUR KNOWLEDGE IN THE RECORDED SAYINGS OF JESUS, AND THE MODE OF INVESTIGATION.
Section I. The Four Gospels the sources of our knowledge as to the Sayings of Jesus.
Section II. The Number of our Lord's Testimonies to the Atonement, and the Circumstances connected with them.
Section III. Whether all the Testimonies of Christ on His Atoning Death are recorded.
Section IV. The Method to be followed in evolving the Import of His Sayings.
Section V. The Importance of Biblical Ideas on Christ's Death.
CHAPTER II. THE POSTULATES OR PRESUPPOSITIONS OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE ATONEMENT.
Section VI. The Atonement a Divine Provision to put away Sin and all its consequences.
Section VII. Separate Sayings which affirm or imply the Necessity of the Atonement.
Section VIII. The Incarnation comes into the Remedial Economy as a Means to an End.
Section IX. Divine Love providing the Atonement; or the Love of God in Harmony with Justice as the only Channel of Life.
Section X. Single Phrases descriptive of the Unique Position of Jesus, or His Standing between God and Man.
Section XI. Sayings of Jesus referring to a sending by the Father.
Section XII. Sayings of Christ which assume that He is the Second Adam, and acting according to a Covenant with the Father in this Atoning work.
Section XIII. The Influence of Christ's Deity in the matter of the Atonement.
CHAPTER III. THE CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF THE ATONEMENT.
Section XIV. Christ consciously fulfilling all that was written iu the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning Himself.
Section XV. The First Classification of the Sayings into those which represent Christ as the Sin-Bearer, and then as the willing Servant.
Section XVI. The Baptist's Testimony to Jesus as the Sin-bearer.
Section XVII. The frequently repeated name, the Son of Man, further exhibiting Him as the Sin-bearer.
Section XVIII. Christ receiving Baptism as the Conscious Sin-bearer.
Section XIX. Christ as the Sin-bearer taking on Him, during His earthly Life and History, the Burdens and Sicknesses of His People.
Section XX. The Historic Facts of Christ's Sufferings illustrated by His Sayings.
Section XXI. The Sayings of Christ as the Conscious Sin-bearer in prospect of His Agony, and during it.
Section XXII. Single expressions used by Christ in reference to a Work given Him to do.
Section XXIII. Christ the Sin-bearer testifying that He was to be numbered with Transgressors during His Crucifixion.
Section XXIV. The Connection between the Lord's Atonement and His Resurrection without seeing Corruption.
CHAPTER IV. THE EFFECTS OF CHRIST'S DEATH.
Section XXV. The Classification of Christ's Sayings as they represent the Effects of His Death, and, in the first place, as they set forth His Death as the Ground of the Acceptance of our Persons.
Section XXVI. Christ describing Himself as Dying to be a Ransom for Many.
Section XXVII. The Testimony of Christ, that His Death is the Sacrifice of the New Covenant for the Remission of Sin.
Section XXVIII. Christ Fulfilling the Law for His People, and thus bringing in a Righteousness or Atonement for them.
Section XXIX. Sayings which represent the Death of Jesus as His Great Act of Obedience, and as the Righteousness of His People.
Section XXX. Christ Offering Himself, that His Followers might be Sanctified in Truth.
Section XXXI. Sayings relative to the subjective Lifegiving Effects of Christ's Death.
Section XXXII. Christ Crucified the Antitype of the Brazen Serpent, and the Lifegiver.
Section XXXIII. Christ Giving His Flesh for the Life of the World.
CHAPTER V. THE RELATION OF THE ATONEMENT TO OTHER INTERESTS IN THE UNIVERSE.
Section XXXIV. Testimonies showing the Relation of the Atonement to other Interests in the Universe.
Section XXXV. The Death of Christ in connection with the Raising of the Temple of God.
Section XXXVI. The Atonement of Christ deciding the Judicial Pro- cess to whom the "World shall belong.
Section XXXVII. Christ, by means of His Atonement, overcoming the World.
Section XXXVIII. The Atonement of Christ denuding Satan of his Dominion in the World.
Section XXXIX. Christ's Vicarious Death taking the Sting out of Death, and abolishing it.
Section XL. Christ laying down His Life for the Sheep, and thus be- coming the actual Shepherd of the Sheep.
Section XLI. Sayings wbich represent Christ's Dominion, both General and Particular, as the Reward of His Atonement.
Section XLII. The Influence of the Atonement in procuring the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
Section XLIII. Christ's Abasement as the Second Man opening Heaven, and restoring the Communion between Men and Angels.
Section XLIV. Sayings of Jesus which represent the Atonement as glorifying God.
CHAPTER VI. THE ACTUAL EFFICACY OF THE ATONEMENT; OR THE QUESTION FOR WHOM IT WAS SPECIALLY OFFERED.
Section XLV. The Efficacious Character of the Atonement; or the Special Reference of the Death of Christ to a People given Him.
Section XLVI. The Atonement extending to all Times in the World's History, and to all Nations.
CHAPTER VII. THE APPLICATION OF THE ATONEMENT.
Section XLVII. Sayings which particularly relate to the Application of the Atonement.
Section XLVIII. The Preaching of Forgiveness based on the Atone- ment, and ever connected with the Atonement.
Section XLIX. The Place which Christ assigns to the Atonement in the Christian Church.
Section L. Christ's Sayings which represent Faith as the Organ or In- strument of receiving the Atonement.
CHAPTER VIII. THE ENDLESS HAPPINESS OR WOE OF MANKIND DECIDED BY ITS RECEPTION OR REJECTION.
Section LI. Endless Happiness or Irremediable "Woe decided by the manner in which Men welcome or reject the Atonement.
Section LII. The Influence of the Atonement, correctly understood, on the whole Domain of Morals and Religion.
APPENDIX of Notes and Historical Elucidations.
Note A. Number of The Sayings on The Subject of His Death.
Note B. The Satisfaction to Divine Justice Necessary.
Note C. Harmony of Love and Justice in the Atonement.
Note D. Christ Acting as the Second Adam, or According to a Covenant with The Father, in The Whole of His Atoning Work.
Note E. The Influence of Christ's Deity or of The Incarnation on the Atonement.
Note F. The Lamb of God Bearing Sin.
Note G. The Title, Son of Man.
Note H. The Son of Man Giving His Life a Ransom for Many.
Note I. Christ Fulfilling The Law, and Bringing in a Righteousness.
Note K. Christ as The Brazen Serpent and Lifegiver; and Christ Giving His Flesh for The Life of The World.
Note M. Historical Sketch of Doctrine of Atonement.