David Schrock at Via Emmaus discusses the Scot George Smeaton (1814-1889).
"I read George Smeaton’s eminently helpful book, The Doctrine of the Atonement As Taught By Christ Himself (Edinburgh, 1871) now retitled and republished as Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement. In it, Smeaton gives his final exhortation from the text John 12:31, which reads, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” In his thorough exegesis, the nineteenth-century Scot shows how Satan’s overthrow means simply, that Christ is the sole possessor of all things. He has stripped the god of this age of his title to this world, and he now rightly possesses the earth (cf. Matt 28:18). Therefore he writes,
This text [John 12:31], important in many aspects, is capable of being viewed in many applications. It throws a steady light on the great and momentous doctrine, that the world is, in consequence of the vicarious work of Christ, no more Satan’s, and that Christ’s people are now to be far from the impression that they are only captives in an enemy’s territory, and unable warrantably to occupy a place in the world, either as citizens or magistrates.
Moving from Christ’s substitutionary cross to the the universal themes of victory and dominion, Smeaton makes this final, global and glorious statement,
On the contrary, this testimony shows that every foot of ground in the world belongs to Christ, that His followers can be loyal to Him in every position, and that in every country and corner where they may placed they have to act their part for their Lord. The world is judicially awarded to Christ as its owner and Lord (p. 300).
This is a glorious truth that deserves time for consideration and meditation. Yet, in first hearing it, I could not help but think of Abraham Kuyper, who said something almost identical. Yet, as it will be shown, Kuyper’s context is different than Smeaton, and Kuyper actually spoke his word’s later."