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. 9 -

[left] June 10: 1849. [center] Proverbs 13:19 - [double-underlined]

"The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul".

1 Man is a being of instincts and desires. 2 There is a world within him & a world without which correspond. 3 In things external to the will & in part external to the soul itself must his happineds [happiness] ever be found. 4 Pleasure- hap [happiness] - good - consists in the gratifica. [gratification] of the desires in external things. 5 The sweetnefs [sweetness] gained is of diff. [different] kinds-- this diff. [difference] makes t. [the] mos. [?] ac. of mor. [?] agents poss. [?] 6 These desires conflict- not pop. to gratify all [underlined] -- & here t. [the] intellect comes into play & man [underlined] becomes a man [double-underlined] - a mos. agent - gratifying such desires as he pleases. [right justified] The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul -- I Immed. on its gratification of whatver kind it be [underlined] 1 Eating- drinking- sleeping- & other animal appetencies. 2 Envy - Ill-will - Pride - Vengeance - & others of the same class. 3 [illegible] - Skill - reputation - Power - Wealth - & like objects. But some of these, in the end, injure t. [the] individ. [individual] & t. [the] community. II Whenever it secures in addition t. [to] largest worldly good practicable [underlined]. 1 Amiability- Purity- 1 Honor - Chastity & all the personal & private virtues. 2 Integrity, probity, honesty, & all the virtues of a good citizen. III It is pecul [peculiarly] sweet to t. [the] soul when it secures t. [the] h. pop. hap. in the present [underlined] audin the future [underlined]. i Englarges, ennobles, exalts, deifies. 2. Makes serene - is a well-spring of spir. [spiritual] joys- brings in all t. [the] blessings of piety and principle. In gratifying this desire only man becomes himself [underlined]-- 3 This allows no bitternefs [bitterness] to minfle with it & is alone [underlined]!

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[center] S. Sk. 10 - [right justified] Sabbath School [underlined]

[left justified] June 24: 1844 [center] 2 Chron. 9: 21 -- [double-underlined]

"For the king's ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish beinging gold, and silver, ivory, and and apes & peacocks".

Tell where Tarshish was situated. Describe the country and its mineral wealth -- the tales of historians and others -- I The Tyrians = the Phenicians were the Saxons & Anglo-Saxons of ancient times. They planted colonies all around the Mediterranean Sea. 2 Greece sprang from them; & ultimately Rome -- and so all the civ-ilization [civilization] & learning of our times. 3 Solomon made affinity with their King - in Commerce, and so in car-rying [carrying] abroad their arts, learning, civilization, & religion. They blessed others while benefitting themselves. II California is now ours. We go in quest of its mineral wealth. 1 We go not as Spaniards went to Peru or Mexico. 2 Not as marauders, hard-hearted & blood-thirsty. 3 We go to be rid of the evils of poverty -- to gain an honest competence. 4 To spread t. [the] views we cherish of freedom vs. slavery. 5 To establish Srew[?] Eng. in-fluence [influence], & institutions along with all else that we desire. If we would do this & show ourselves the men we were taken to be & which we esteem ourselves to be. III We must be submissive to law - ever & always -. 2. Be self pofsefsed [possessed]. Not merely cool [underlined] in danger- but cool in the midst of enticements - and cool in the hour of provocation - amid the heats of pafsion [passion] -- 3. Guard our moral feelings. Not allow them to be blunted & destroyed. All vice bad enough - but licentiousnefs [licentiousness] worst of all. 4. Cultivate our piety. Other safe-guards are well; but this is the only effectual one. Nothing can [underlined] answer as well --

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[left justified] Sacto. [Sacramento] July 22: 1849

[center] X Ecclesiastes X [double-underlined] 9: 11 [double-underlined] "I returned & saw under the sun that the race is is not to the swift xxx but time & chance happeneth to them all. "

The past is not a dream - Present not a fiction- Time not a fancy - Existence not an illusion. Duration is real. Ourselves, real; & we walk [illegible] vast realities. Text, "Time & chance xx to all." Time and change are common. Few things, unchangeable. Space, Duration, God, are [underlined]. Yet, cahnge of [illegible] may [underlined] come to all these. But, text = lang. [language] of com. life; & is same as to say - There is a Prov-idence [Providence] in all things. There is a law in chanve. There is a law in the mutations of affairs. Nothing is withoug law, nothing oceus without a providence and over ruling. While a [illegible] God exists, such a [illegible] as a genuine haphazard occurance can never come to pass. As Shak says- "There's a divinity shapes our ears, [illegible].' A law [underlined] is a rule of action. And a Ruler is an executor of law [underlined]. Bec. [because] there is conflict & change, we can't infer want of order. 1 Dull observer sees law, pow. [illegible] in nat. events- seaspns - revolutions, etc.- yet even t. star system is confused to unpueched[?] eyes. 2 Into hum. affairs come other disturbing elements. But God being perf. [perfect] there must be an overrul. & countering Prov. God foresaw things poss. and things actual etc. apriori [underlined]. 3. We must see there is [underlined] a Prov. by t. results of afairs, as far as we do see [underlined]. (a) In case of virtuous- Prosperity given the more virtous. Exceptions proving the rule. (c). In ref. to individ's [individuals] - causing all events to make a whole designed for the higher good. 1. Providece in existence of [illegible]. 2. Prov. in posession [illegible] of this [double-underlined] Terriotry. 3. In these tides of population. 4. In the personal hist. of each of us [underlined] Must not forget here that God lives, reigns, is here, the friend of law, order, morality, virtue, religion. Here, as elsewhere, should live as one the verge of heaven.

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[left] Mokel River, Aug. 5: 1849. [center] Romans-- [underlined] 14: 12 [double-underlined] [right] Farewell to Everett Company [underlined] "So then every one of us shall give account of himself" "to God" Great concern is with our destiny. Can rightfully concern 'selves with nothing else. Made for action, born into the conditions of it, one can't help shaping his destiny whether he cares [underlined] for it or not. We are formed to know mor. rt. [right] & wrong- good & evil. When have abil. [ability] to perform such action, our responsibil. [responsibility] begins. So avoiding it. Must do duty; or refuse, or do t. opposite; in either of last two our sin is found. We become res-pons. [responsilble] nobody for us our own char. [character] and destiny, but for those of others, in a measure; and these are things of highest value to all men. It is fit that a final [illegible] sh'd [should] be rendered to God by every one of us -- 1. Not bec. [because] he [underlined] needs any information, display, on guard opportunity. 2. But, for benefit of every person, and of all the race. To make us manly, to keep us on guard; to impress truth on us; fill us with feeling of care and concern. 3. For t. [the] beenfit of the universe. That all who care to, may know, what God or men have done, and what are the grounds on wh. [which] final awards are assigued[?], for eternity. Examination into all t. [the] controlling events, [illegible], & doings of our earthly lives. 4. For God's sake, also. Show what concern God has for t. [the] well-being of creatures. To vindicate all his ways, & plans, & dark providences. Show what pains has taken for t. [the] world's salvation -- how sincerely has sought the sal. [salvation] of every human being. There and other such reasons make it seem fit that we [underlined] sh'd [should] give account to God, & all others. 1. All feel weight of respous [?], to some extent. Should we ought to be called to account. 2. All of us conscious of evil, of shortcoming, and of sins against God and man, must also, feel need of such relief as the gospel offers. Only can dene bar of God, thro. name of C. 3. We must look to our [illegible] lives, char's [characters?] and influences. 4. Must see that we keep pace with our changing times, relation, & activitie, & sacudly [?] discharge all obligations. In fact, let us forgibe & forget wrong: Let us be pure & holy. Let us meet & be glad in a better world!

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Sacto Aug. 12:1849 Matthew. 4:15-16. "The land of Zabulon & of Naphtali xx Galiee of the nations."

Quoted from Isai. 9:51 & 2. Where these tribes were. Why called galilee of the nations. What sort of people they were. Why they had such characteristics. The [illegible]. of races &c. had expanded, enlarged, exalted, & ennobled, somewhat. A border people. Other Jews thought them rude, benighted, & semi-barbaric. To this popula. C. came with gospel _ calling to repentance, causing day and light from heaven to flash on their way. From this sort of people C. chose his disciples, the apostles of our faith _ and for sufficient reasons.

I. Now Cal. is not unlike Zab. & Nephtaline. 1. It is an upper region, with soil, climate, & situations, of a similar kind. 2. It is a Galilee of C. nations. 3. It is a border region, in several respects. 4. It is somewhat under a cloud, in respect to moral and spiritual things, at this time. 5. There are influences at work wh. serve to uncivilize, to unman, and undo people. 6. There are here those unrestrained habits, and those downward tendencies, which hurry people into a kind of barbarism & sink them in a moral and spiritual degeneracy. You see them, or feel them. II. The gospel of C._ the presence of C._ is the great light wh. must chase away this darkness. The Ch. of C. is she whose brightness must invadi-ate this region and shadow of mor. and [illegible] death.

1. To effect this there must begin to be refreshen a Christian Sab-bath, holy and sacred, to save from overwork, blight, & dissipation. 2. A living, learned, & efficient of the word and ordinances of the Lord, such as shall commend itself to minds and hearts. 3. An organized and active body of believers, of those

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