The doctrine of the atonement, as taught by the Apostles; or, The sayings of the Apostles exegetically expounded

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Clark, 1870 - 548 pages

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Anup Arun Hiwale
September 20, 2012 --
Smeaton, George. The Doctrine of the Atonement as Taught by the Apostles: On, the Sayings of the Apostles Exegetically Expounded. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 38, George Street, 1870. items/doctrineofatonem00s mea/doctrineofatonem00smea.pdf (accessed August 10, 2012). 423 pp.
“A religion with a sacrifice, and a religion without a sacrifice, differ in the whole kind. The first respects the atonement of our past sins, and our daily infirmities: it respects God as the judge and avenger of wickedness, as well as the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The other is a kind of philosophical institution to train men up in the practice of piety and virtue. A religion without a sacrifice is at most but half as much as a religion with a sacrifice; and that half wherein agree of a quite different nature from each other. - Sherlock’s Vindication (quote taken from a page before preface)
Rev. Smeaton feels urgency in the late eighteen hundreds and feels the heat of the phenomenon that was generated by some of his contemporaries in Germany. He mentions certain names and given us footnote so that we can locate them in those writings. He says,
“Menken, Stier, Klaiber and above all Hofmann of Erlangen (A city in Bavaria, Germany) who, in the use of a peculiar exegesis, have arrived at results diametrically opposed to the views at which the entire Christian church is the east and west arrived, during eighteen centuries of her history. Schleiermacher, the great champion and bulwark of this tendency, from reason which may be easily inferred, did not attempt to base these views on exegetical investigation, but on Christian consciousness. This phenomenon of a Christianity without an atonement, professedly based on an exegetical foundation, seemed to call for such a work as the present; and in the course of it I have thoroughly investigated the teaching of the Lord and His apostles. Much as I value the creeds of the church, I d not appeal to them but t Scripture testimony strictly interpreted.”
( Preface page vii)
The phenomenon that “a Christianity without an atonement” is the basic thrust in the book, it does require a serious attention of every reader of this book. Author desires to take his readers through the Scriptures mainly the New Testament to show that the truth of the atonement is taught over all into the teachings of the apostles. And he shows it very successfully. I would like to review his approach with some of my affirming comments on it; I do agree with Rev. Smeaton when he says that the atonement is the accomplished fact and completes the transaction with saving efficacy (2).
Chapter I: The Preparation of the apostle and the circle of their testimony
This chapter is most important when you read this book, this is where he puts all his nutshells about his faith the Word of God that God has done the act of atoning for His people and that has not only created a possibility of salvation for God’s people but he makes sure reader understand that the atonement is applied unto every one of child of God, the believers.
There are Six Sections in this chapter. These sections are about the apostles teaching on the atonement based on that of the Lord Jesus. The importance is given to the fact that all the instruction that was given to the apostles including Paul was first hand, he writes, “He was Himself the interpreter of Scripture, and of His own history, in the course of those oral communication.”(5) But the most important focus of the subject is no doubt ‘atonement,’ here we see in the section one to six a chain six beautiful thoughts compiled as ‘What Jesus Christ taught His disciples; leading to What was the general view of the Apostles regarding the subject of atonement. Then, he takes us to the “Way apostles exposited the symbols of the sacrifices and the temple services.” At this time readers is entering into truth of “pardon of our sins” as one of the results generated by the



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Page 404 - For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Page 192 - For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Page 267 - When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things...
Page 161 - What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Page 304 - ... blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross ; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Page 297 - For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Page 279 - Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people's : for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.
Page 185 - Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul ; and I of Apollos ; and I of Cephas ; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you ? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Page 441 - For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit...
Page 215 - And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

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