Joseph A. Benton Journal

ReadAboutContentsHelp
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.

Pages

cabenton_b028_f010_029
Complete

cabenton_b028_f010_029

[right justified] 3 and bad feelings, have the mastery of them-- and they become so unlovely & are so wretched, & so full of self-torments, we pity them; their feelings are disordered. 4. [double-underlined]. Once more. People have perverted wills, make bad choices, & so become unhappy. All have occasion to regret bad decisions. Childrem as often as they. Their wrongs come back on them. They have to smart for their transgression. They have chosen to do ill; & when suffer for it they try to throw the blame on others. They feel they have decided to do wrong -- & sometimes they tremble & are afraid. Nobody but themselves may know about the sin they have done; but they feel guilty, & mean & small; their consciences accuse them, voices from their bosoms cry out against them; in fact, it seems as if everybody must know how badly they had been doing. Well, all who do wrong & forbidden things, who choose to commit sin, are doing just so much to make themselves wretched; they make the harrow that shall tear them, & sow the seeds of lasting misery. Now these are unhappy, bec. their wills [double-underlined] are disordered.

Thus you see-- what the matter is. -- there is disorder of the mind, of the feelings & the will = soul disorder; for the soul is what thinks, feels, & wills, as I told you. This is the reason why we don't find children & grown folks happier. Their souls are disordered. That is what is the matter with them. Would get along very well with pains of the body -- & diseases -- if the soul were not troubled. And if there were no soul disorders, the bodily ones would not

Last edit 6 days ago by RobertMyers
cabenton_b028_f010_030
Complete

cabenton_b028_f010_030

[left corner] 4 be so many nor so hard to bear. Now this disorder & stain of the soul is such that ap-plications [applications] to the body won't remove it. Nitre - alkali & soap, the text says, will not take off the marks of it. Can't put as poultice or the breast to remove the heart agony; nor remove foulness from the soul, whitening the hands. [double-underlined]

Now if you have often been unhappy -- you can see what the matter has been. Not used your souls well. Managed them badly. Sometimes you have made mistakes -- but those are not all; you have made the soul work badly when you knew better; you have chosen to work it badly when you might have worked it well, & when you had been told what was well. Lying worlds = soul lied. Playing truant; what the badness was. Disobedience -- bad in other regards got you punishments -- but the worst effect was on your souls, Stays there punish't don't remove it -- suffering dont drive it off. Been an-gry [angry] -- struck somebody -- that will get well; but you struck you soul this too. You are dull, stupid, & wont work & study -- all bad -- but the worst is you are spoiling your souls. [double-underlined]

Must stop now. Next time more about the effects of these soul-disorders & their cure.

Let me ask, always to think -- what am I going to do to my soul today, & by this course of conduct? I shall live it maybe, many years, shall I be sorry for what I now do? What will my soul say to me when I am grown up, and what, in that other world to which I am going?

Last edit 6 days ago by RobertMyers
cabenton_b028_f010_031
Complete

cabenton_b028_f010_031

[center] Chil'n 3. [right corner] July 12: '57 Sac'to

[center] Proverbs 28:14. [double-underlined] Happy is the man that feareth always; but he that harden-eth [hardeneth] his heart shall fall into mischief. [double-underlined]

Must not think, as boys & girls sometimes do, "that don't mean us". It does mean you. For if the man is happy - how much more the woman, the boy, & the girl! The man stands for all - but it's true everywhere that women & children are happier than the men; & this is so, bec. they are generally better, i.e., not so wicked & depraved. We are troubled, sad, & miserable bec. we have lost the fear of God. Hav'nt lost all fears [underlined]- we are afraid of 1000 things - of care, work, pain, poverty, trouble, sickness, death, & punishment - fears on every side - & children, what fears they have! sometimes very foolish ones, which they ought to be ashamed of as well as grown folks. No! we have fears, a plenty. But we have lost fear of God; & bec. we have lost that, we have got a thousand bad ones in its place. If we get that back, we shall be happy - & we shall get rid of 100 things that are tormenting us; & we shall get clear of them in no other way. To fear God - is to be happy. That is Bible- it is experience - it is common sense. And the longer you live the more you will find these all go together.

But, text says xx. I told you something a month ago about the dis-orders [disorders] of the soul, how people great & small were apt to stain, hurt, & destroy them by bad usage; I promised them to say more, & carry the view farther. Set us sec. Ivet. [?] Heart in Bible = soul I have told of. "Fall into mischief." You know, perhaps what it is to do mischielf. Sorry - but most chil'n I've known, knew too much about mischief & liked to do it. But mischief here means any evil, any hurt, & specially hurt & damage, done to the soul.

Last edit 6 days ago by RobertMyers
cabenton_b028_f010_032
Complete

cabenton_b028_f010_032

[left corner] 2 I knew a boy once -- I was a small lad then -- who got on a fence to steal fruit from a tree -- he fell & broke his arm. He fell into one mischief in the stealing -- into another, by breaking the arm. The boys that played with pow-der [powder] the other day fell into mischief when they got into that cask; i.e., they got into trouble & recieved much injury -- they hurt the feelings of others almost as badly as they hurt themselves. 1. "He that hardeneth his heart". What is that? It is to get the heart, or soul, into such a state that is it don't feel quick, isn't tender, don't like to hear the truth, don't like the Bible, don't like to go to church, to SS. School, & don't like to be told of faults. That it is to have a hard heart. To be cold, unfeeling, uninterest-ed [uninterested], & even cross, and snappish, about religion & God -- that is to have a hard heart. When Pharaoh would not let Israel go - had a hard heart. Cruel, harsh, & unreasonable. Herod was base & hard-hearted when he killed all the small children in Bethlehem, so as to be sure & destroy the little son of Mary. Where we see a boy bold, insolent, disrespectful, swagging like a bully, saying rough things to everyone, went to old men we say he is a hard boy, don't we? Or he is brazen -- carries brass in his face -- that is another way of saying his heart is hard. See a loafer, battered etc. Say fools hard [underlined]. Hard time - sure differentiates -- but is heart is hardest.

1. May ask -- How [underlined] the heart is hardened! Hardening process results from living. Working soul badly hardens it. So if you keep on doing any wrong you harden your heart by it. If you take a piece of soft, flexible, iron & begin to hammer it, you harden it. Every blow you strike is hardening it -- till finally it flies all into fragments. If you keep walking on soft ground, you soon harden it every step you take helps it on -- diff. in garden, shows diff. in hearts. Harden hands, working.

Last edit 6 days ago by RobertMyers
cabenton_b028_f010_033
Complete

cabenton_b028_f010_033

[right corner] 3 See a boy, plaguing & tormenting, & teasing a dumb brute; he is hardening his heart, driving feeling, tenderness out, getting malice & cruelty in. Does evil to beauty -- Next thing he will be doing injury to men. When children quarrel -- dispute -- call hard names -- & strike -- they are harden-ing [hardening] their hearts. When they will not regard parents & teachers -- refuse to obey them, get angry with them -- they harden their hearts.

But they may grow hard by neglect. Soil nothing in it, no good seed -- nothing green & growing -- it dries up, bakes, is useless. Been to brickyords & potteries; Seen process. Seen not enough to harden but it does much. What next? Not fire. You are are not bricks. But you may get brick-hearts, if you let all sorts of people do what they please with. There are people they call "bricks" -- don't wish you to be like them. So keep out of the company of Satan's brick-makey [?] -- for they will make your hearts like stone.

3. "Will fall into mischief". What? The hard heart itself is one of the worst mischiefs, but there are others. When you harden your hearts by sinning, doing what you know is wrong, you not only fall into mischief, & hurt your souls; you not only hurt your parents & friends, your teachers & companions, great & grievous wrongs as these are; but, you break God's holy law, you displease & offend him who made you, & who gives you all good things to enjoy.

That law has a penalty. It threatens evil. It demands punish't. The substance of it is -- "The soul that sinneth, it shall die".

We know how the body dies. That death is a consequence of sinning, but that is not all. The soul itself may die -- not by turning to dust, that can't be. But by being withered, & blighted, & cursed, & losing all its joy, & suffering, anguish & remorse, & the pangs of guilt.

Last edit 6 days ago by RobertMyers
Displaying pages 26 - 30 of 87 in total