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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[left corner] 4 If you keep on sinning, you will finally suffer such a death of the soul. Not in this world perhaps, will know all thy means. Some touch, some little force [?] of it thureked [?] way feel in this world; God is trying to keep you from falling into this great mischief. And when you sin, you do more than displease him, you resist him, you refuse to be helped by him. It is as if you were about to fall in to a well, & you wou wouldn't let your father keep you back! A hard heart that is, which shows itself out so. Think, if that heart is not yours. Can't say your heart will be bitter after dying than before. A San F. sinner slipped, not sure he will stop sinning in [illegible]. A soul slipped from time, not sure he will not sin in eternity. Rather, he will keep on; sin & suffere there. Character goes with us; can't get rid of it. It is our very selves. It is the soul badly shaped, & forever undone; fallen into everlasting mischief. Remember before you came to Cal. Any better now? Any worse? Is it a wicked country? Well, you needn't be wicked. And take care, lest you find a worse one, in "That undeserved" etc.

1. See what a dreadful thing it is to harden your hearts, selves. 2. See what mischief you will do to others, by hardening the heart. 3. See what a store of mischief you lay up for the other world. 4. See what you will lose by losing the friendship of God; so what a mischief, every way, it is, to harden your hearts!!

Last edit about 2 months ago by dindraga
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Aug. 9, '57. Sac. Chiln. [?] Romans 9:16th. "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that receiveth, but of God, that sheweth mercy..." Have told what the soul is - have mismanaged how hardened Everywhere - in all ages - a similar state of things - men going wrong, doing wrong, feeling wrong. All this God saw. What was to be done? Suppose you are from home. Father hears you don't do quiet so well as you ought. Will he not write you a letter, or send some message by on that will see you. Won't he try to correct you? God is the world's father. Saw how badly it was doing - + he sent messages to the people by patriarchs + prophets - warning, instructing, encouraging in the right. Then he sent books, letters, + messages together + tried all methods of persuasion to keep them from doing wrong, + induce them to do right. Did this of his own accord; + because he pitied the people that were in so bad a state. Sometimes children go a good ways from home to school. When they get letters - they know they shall get them - they can tell whether they are father's letters or not, can't they? If they get books - just such as they want - they say of course father sent them - nobody else knew what we wanted. So the people in thy world have received many communications - messages of various sorts reach them - but they can tell God's messages from others - just as you can your father's letters from the messagse other people send you.

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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2 Somthing will show you that Father wrote them for you; [?], no one else could know so well what you needed to know - or write about just what you wanted to hear. And in God's communications to the world there is always something of God; some peculiarity - which marks them as having come from heaven. We have one large book - made up many smaller ones, that have appeared in different times + lands - been sent to various sets of children - + we know that it is from God, much as we know a set of books comes to us, [when't?] school, from a parent. Nobody else would have thought of sending them; nobody else w'd have taken the pains if he had thought; nobody else c'd have sent them; might have sent something - but not such books as these. In this way, we know, the Bible is from God; and that of his goodness he sent it to us. Again, when children are away at school, or elsewhere, Father very likely will send them drawings of trees, or hills, or [?] pictures, or some keepsakes - so that they will never forget home, nor how it looks, + so that they may learn something of how home looks, if they went away so young as not to remember it. So God has done for his offspring in this world. He has given them institutions, memorials, - keepsakes; and the finest of all is the church. Moses was told how to build his outward tabernacle so as to be like the true + heavenly. And so God has a ch. + [?] on earth like those in heaven.

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3

All this is of God; + all things out of his mercy to man; and bec. he desired to keep men from wrong things, + specially from hardening their hearts against him, + refusing to have him for their father + God.

But it turned out that but few of God's offspring here on the earth have got his messages - heard his prophets - had his books - or saw his institutions + memorials; or knew anything about a chosen people, + a holy temple. And many who were the most favored were not much benefitted, they hardened their hearts, or concluded they were so wise there was nothing for them to learn, + they were ready for heaven. Those that were ignorant of God - + had fallen into heathenism + its vices, of course did not love their heavenly father; + those that did remember something about him, did not love him; + some that pretended to love him loved themselves more. And half the world instead of doing as well they knew how, were just waiting to see what the great Father wd do next. So children, when told to do something, if they don't like to do just, that wait to see if parents won't change, + call them off to something else.

Though it was so bad, God pitied the world too much to leave it in that state. There was now more that he could do, + more he could say; bc the time had come, + the world was old enough. There are many things your parents can't tell you about till you are older - + every year you can learn somethings better. Leaders + kings, prophets + [?], Judges + priests, speaking for God had done what they could to keep the people right; but they were not enough.

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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4.

Now God sent his son into the world. Not to drive prophets, teachers, Bibles, Sabbaths + meetings out of the world; but to tell them do what they had done but not well enough, before. He came into the world - not to destroy - but to fulfil = fill out. Not to condemn world but to save it. Men are earthly children - C. the heavenly son, of God - + being such a son he can speak in the father's name, + tell his earthly brothers how the Father feels - what he wishes - + what he proposes.

If you who are small were away at school - if your Father sh'd send the eldest, grown to be a great men - take pains + trouble to send him to visit you - would it not be a favor? + would you not think he had a right to advise you, + speak to you in the Father's name?

God showed the world mercy. He sent his Son. The son came to do the Fathers will, though it was not wholly a pleasure to him. To tell the children of the earth - all was true which was in the law, + the prophets + Psalms, + to teach them the good news of the gospel - bring life immortality to light. And by all these ways, he came to draw near to the love of God, + to the happiness of serving God. He said, "Come, weary" +c. - Came to [?] the bad work of sin - to soften [?] hearts, to show us how to live, + grow better + not worse, all the time; how to live in this world so as to live with him in glory by + by.

More of C. + his mission to the world next time.

1. The world has a father = God.

2. He is a merciful Father + has done every possible thing.

3 Children of earth have a brother; + He is the Son of God.

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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