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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of those who believe in serving C, here and now, and not by and by, or in some other part of the country. 4. A house of prayer consecrated to the name of God and of sociates with our best memories of the hour of praise worship. 5. All the usual institutions of the Gospel, necessary and useful elsewhere, - emphatically so here - the family altar, the S. School, the prayer meeting, and every other minor help to real piety. III. Cal. has a destiny to fulfil not unlike that of Galilee, of old. 1. She ought first to receive, & wonder at, & welcome, C. this gospel, in the confident hope that it will fulfil all its pledges. 2. She ought, in due time, to become a home and center of Christianizing power, endeavor, and influence for all the regions behind and beyond. 3. Her people are likely to be of the right sort, in many respects, to be foremost and best in all Christianizing labours, in all the great world . 4. An outpost of civilization and Christianity we are planting here. Shall it be an advance post, a sign of progress, a token of triumph? It will be if C. be our Leader - if the spirit enlighten, sanct. and save.

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Sun. May 4: 1856.

Colossians 3:17

"And whatsoever, you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and " "the Father by him".

With the world appearing less foward. Hence - Book, Rules, Etiquete, Honor. Lord Chesterfield. Called gentleman. Gentlemen not so manufactured. Be gentlemen at heart - their rules are good. Books make guideboards, while stones do not make travelling - assist them only.

The Bible does not make Christians, by rules & precepts, & outward [appliancy?]. It assumes that we are Christian at heart: & then gives us rules,- systems, ethics, &c to assist & guide us. If we are not Christian, all it has to say is, Beware, repent, believe! We must be religious, then it will assist us on our course. The text assumes that the addressed are Christians. A precept concerning religion in common daily life.

1 In the name of C. - the meaning. (a) lot to do as agents or deputies - save as we represent C. (b) But out of affection. (c) For his interest or advantage. (d) By command of C. (e) In invitation of C. (f) Power dervied from C. (g) Invocation of his blessing.

World lost the true idea of God - & that of man also. C. restored both to us - specially the latter.

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2. The extent of this rule "Whatsoever". (a) Religion to enter into all our actions. "Whether ye eat or drink" &c. (b) Are to be speaking & doing christians - not Ritualists, or mystics, or Monks, &c. (c) The more pressed by toils, & labors, & trials, - the more nec. is religion. (d) Religion is glorifying God just where we are - must leave religion there & practice it there. Navigator, Soldier, Pilot &c. (Quote.) (e) Matter not continuity - life & the world not evil, as such - powers, passions, impulses given us for use; all are God's gifts to be used.

3. Proprieter of the injunction. (a) Lawyers - Physicians - merchants - mechanics - auctioneers, - printers - gardeners - farmers - teachers - clerks - bankers - brokers - all classes - too much dissway your daily tithing from C. Nothing sh'd be tithed - all, all for religion. (b) Heroes of the ch. not to be made by running from the world - but by taking all powers, ambitions, forces, associations into the arena - making virtues of them, & fighting with them in the conflict for supremacy. (c) Don't alway know just the motives & reasons your conduct - latent, hidden forces [impel?]; hopes not thought of; remembrance, anticipations, with no special connection sway us. Our faith sh'd rule over all these - should be a silent agent in our commonest things. Here the exploration of cross purposes - inconsistent actions. (d) Christians should not be timid, but bold to show religion better than all pleasures, amusements, &c. - [brc.?] fitted for all our conditions. The Christian life sh'd be seen the broadest, most [genial?], most fully furnished, of all the states of man.

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Remarks. 1. To be self-contained contemplation Christianity alone will not fulfil [fulfill] the text. We, astray, the noise of cities - [bring?] the burdens of business & of toil - we are, or ought to be more fit exemplary of God's ser-vice than souls secluded in cloisters, temples, & from vulgar dangers.

2. All things we know we cannot say or do in the name of C. - with propriety - are things not fit to be said or done. This is infallible. How many such things you find to do - & do them - I know not. But I know certain seats are quite uniformly vacant Sunday prior to [illegible] - & that rows of pews are to [too], when the mail closes, Sunday or Monday, - what the usual occupants find to say a do, & whether in Cs. name - judge you!! Sermons vs letters.

3. The true secret of some men's sterling piety lies in their everyday religion.

C. is very God, & true man to them. Thy glory in no name but his. He serves to them to be ever at their side; & they love to regard him as there - as there a lover, & friend, & ready helper!! O, hallow all your actions with religion - ennoble all your lives with C. - purify your social [lives - striked out] habits from all taints - So shall ye fulfil [fulfill] the precept - so shall glory dwell in the land - so shall better generations succeed you; because your sons shall be like the broad limpid skies above you, & your daughters, like the flowers of the plain - for the Messiah shall be their chosen.

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Chil 1

Sac. May 10. '57

[double underlined:] Job: 33:4 "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life"

Introduc. Believe in invisible powers. Needle to pole. Can't see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, or touch it. Lighting & thunder. Telegraph. Pull of gravitation on bodies. Circulation of safe. Beating of the heart. Swinging of a pendulum. The fact of motion, &c. [et cetera] - contagions, plagues, miasmas, diseases are samples of invisible forces that are evil.

1. God has made us with a two-fold life. Sometimes we refer to the one; sometimes to the other. Are well; body sick, mind well; soul sick, body well. Real being after all is the soul. Sore hands, feet, hair, ears, eyes, nose, &c. [et cetera] That makes us, [because?] when it is gone, nothing but day is left. Trees & plants have but a single life, that we know of; but how beautiful it is coming up in bud & leaf, flower & seed! Sources of all life are invisible; we know they differ bec. their manifest-ations differ.

2. What is this soul? A power resident in our bodies for a time, like a man in a high small house - up in the roof. It is what thinks, feels, wills; desires & wants; suggests & contrives; hopes & fears; chooses & refuses; loves & hates; say it is & it is not; resolves & sets a going; & in fact does pretty much everything.

The soul has powers to do certain things; call these power faculties. It can know. It can remember what it has learned. It can compare, can distinguish. Can reason. Can imagine. Can describe. Can tell right from wrong. Can can understand duty. Can be wise. Can hold intercourse. Can form ideas of God & religion.

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