Joseph A. Benton Journal

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Joseph A. Benton came to California in 1849, during the gold rush. He first settled in Sacramento, where he founded the First Congregation Church in 1851. He was a pastor for many years as well as a professor of Biblical literature at Pacific Theological Seminary. This collection consists of a journal containing outlines of sermons preached on board of the Edward Everett and also in California. **Please note that historical materials in the Gold Rush Collections may include viewpoints and values that are not consistent with the values of the California State Library or the State of California and may be considered offensive. Materials must be viewed in the context of the relevant time period but views are in no way endorsed by the State Library. The California State Library’s mission is to provide credible information services to all Californians and, as such, the content of historical materials should be transcribed as it appears in the original document.

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[center] S. Sk. 4.

[left:] March 18: 1849. [center] Job 14:14. [double-underlined]

"If a man die, shall he live again?" [swirly underline]

[right-justified] These are two grand, grand [underlined], questions which meet us. (a) Shall I live after death? (b) Will my conduct here affect my condi-tion hereafter? Shall now answer the first inquiry. Immortality vital to true manliefs[?] - to all suicre[?] piety, & religion. The Bible rather implies [underlined] than afserts (asserts?) it; as with respect to the being of God. 1. Change does not involve destruction [underlined]. Thus[?]- by pers-identity, [?] sleeping, swooning, [?], drowning ie[?]. 2. Question of the soul's immateriality, of itself, not decisive. [underlined] God can perpetuate whatever he will- without need to [?]. 3. Argument is a moral one. [under-lined] (a) From the [?] of its nature. (a^2)Not like the soils [?] ie, in nature, (b^2) Not[?] like the vegetables. (c^2) Is above all the brute creation. (d^2) [?] image of God. State this ie[?] (b From its powers + capacities. Can know the universe, can [?] abstract, un-derstand [?], moral [?]; knows God; read forth to infinities. (c) Will not God cause it to [?] to suds[?]? If so, will he not perpetuate its being for sure? He does so with all else, why not with man? Can we dispute that truth without impeading God? Will the soul plunge into everlasting nothing? Will it tumble into an-nihilation, with every dog in the streets?

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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S.S.K.3. April 8:1849 Proverbs 3:13-18 13."Happy is the man that findeth wisdom + the man that getteth understanding ++++++++ 17 Her ways are ways of pleasanthelp, and all her paths are peace" All men eagerly ask - "Who will show us any good? The bible answers--in the text--

Last edit 2 months ago by kratzbrianna
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S.S.K.6 April 22 : 1849 Jude 1:3

"And exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints"

Some men assent to truths wh. they practically deny. There are who to receive christianity. Not unfashionable now-a-days to profess belief in the Bible, thus, it is practically set at nought. We should content toII 1. Bec. it was reasonable from ? as they were to expect a Revelation from God to men. Light of nature & reason were long enough tried. 2. Bec. X? is trued historically - & is authoritative. The writers penned the books ascribed to them. They describe real events - poss. in nature. Their statements are confined by Jew & heathen author. They are accurate, in the main, more so than any books half as ancient. 3. Bec. it comes with proper attestations - such as we should expect when God speaks to men. Jesus wrought worthy miracles. The cas was one worthy of such works - & God was anxious to vindicate the truth. 4. Bec. XJ is such a system as we should look for from such, to such. Came with proper distinctness & in due time. II II 1. Bec. it has many opposers. Some of it friends are half-hearted. Many are entirely ignorant of it. 2. Such a defence is the only effective one - earnestness is the soul of it. 3. This is the only defence worthy of a theme so noble, so sublime.

1. See how earnest men can smile at martyrdom. 2. Learn how best to exalt truth - viz. by ? & generous self-sacrifice

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[center] S. Sk. 7.

[left] May 13:1849: [center] First Peter 3:15 [double-underlined]

"And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear".

Am now to speak of the manner in which Christian themes & doctrines sh'd be exemplified in the life and conversation. This lies in the sphere of personalities. It has special applications. Consider then 1 What this madinefs at sendering[?] an reason [illegible] implies [underlined] (a) Some good degree of common sense. (b) Reflections on the nature of evidence. (c) Considerable historical reading. (d) Not a small or limited aquaintance witht he Bible itself: "Search the ss[?]." . 2. What the nature of this reason is. [underlined]. [tab] (a) Must consist of defence [underlined] rather than an apology [underlined]. (b) Must be based on personal experience; (c) adapted to circumstances; (d) framed as for reasonable men; (e) as few as possible, one capable of demonstration [underlined]. 3. What the Hope is [underlined] (a) One of sin forgiven & life eternal secured, thro. the death of C., on condition of a new heart & a new life. (b) Well-based, not fallacious. (c) Differs from other hopes as it object differs. (d) Increases with evidence & experience. 4. The mode of rendering the reason [underlined]. (a) As becomes one liable to mistake. (b) As becomes a theme of mighty consequence. (c) With the meekness of Jesus the pattern. Men will [underlined] find dault, go straight on - but gently. (d) But be decided- have all courage, all faith - and be neither troubled nor dismayed. 1 See how vigilant and self-sustained a well-living [illegible] must be. 2 From how to give power & point to truth. Live it up- act it out.

Last edit 2 months ago by dindraga
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[center] S. Sk. 8.

[left] May 21: 1849 [center] Psalm 107: 23&24 [double-underlined]

"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in the great waters; - These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. "

The dea has attactions for all. A romantic interest gathers around it. Each one desires to behold it. God's glory is manifested every where - but is seen in pecul-iar forms at sea. The dea displays God's glory in 3 forms: -- I. Omnipotence [underlined]. By its vast extent [underlined]. 2 Depth [underlined]. 3. Pressure {underlined], up & down. 4. Capacity for animal life. 5 Pwder of waves, winds storms. "Ye winds- ye take catar-acts [cataracts?] sound [illegible]. Ye dawl[?] upon the deep". -- II. Wisdom [underlined]. 1 In the laws stamped on it. 2 In its adaptations. 3 Comparative size. 4 The means provided for its purity, by composition & motion. 5 The folows of its currents & tides. 6 Its native wonders corals, pearls, gems, [illegible] - & also, its deep mysteries of divers[e] kinds. "Full many a gem be." Bryant's "Hymn to t. [the] sea". III. Goodnefs [Goodness] [underlined]. i Not allowing the [illegible] too much territory at one time--. 2 In the proportionate adjustments & balancings of the same. 3 In the uses of the sea to equalize temperature. 4 Use as an international barrier. 5 As a grand store-house of food & wealth. 6 As a grand highway of Commerce. 7 Teacher of subliminity - Develeoper of Beauty - Giver of Instruction. "Roll on, thou deep, dark-blue ocean"-- "Thou glorious mirror where the Almighty's form Glapes[?] itself [illegible]." "These are thy glorious works Paret [?] of good". 1 They that continually behold these wonders of God ought ever to be the most reverent and best of men; & not what they very often are. 2 Every one should be made a humbler, purer, nobler, man, by a long voyage at sea. Heave we [underlined] become so?

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