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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Sept. 13, '57. Sac.

Chiln, 5.

Acts 10:38.

"Now God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost + with power; who went about doing good, + healing all that were oppressed of the devel; for God was with him."

Recapitulate. What souls are. The state they were in. What the Father of the world did for his earthly children - in sending them letters, messages, + books - prophets + teachers - + finally his Son. The Son of God came into the world.

In what condition did he find it? It was nearly all dark. The torches kindled by prophets + teachers had burnt out, or been put out + no new ones lighted. People did not like that sort of light, or they would have kept it burning. There was a great deal of learning, + a great deal of power, + a great deal of talent, in some quarters, but the mighty of the earth knew of God, nor wished to. They were resting from wars + conquests, + were waiting for something new. Some in Judea were wise + knew what they were waiting for. They believed what God had promised long before - a great Deliver - + now it was time for him to appear. They were longing, + hoping, + watching. You know how people feel when they are expecting a friend soon with presents, + gifts; how they harken, go to the window, can't sit still, can't readd + compose the story at all. So there were some looking + waiting for the Messiah to come. Part of these knew him when he came - Simeon + Anna + [?] - but others were so disappointed - he was not at all the sort of person they thought they should see. They expected a prince, + here was a beggar, almost - So many would not believe he was the Messiah; he did not seem to them like the Son of God. So he found the world, generally, dark + ignorant; + of those who know something about him, most were unwilling to have anything to do with him, + lent him no help.

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2. 2. Was he fitted to serve the world? You might think it unreasonable for people to reject help when offered to them. Drowning man rejecting the arm

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3.

3 What was it that he tried to do? Why, the will of Him that sent him. And that will was that he should lose more that were given him - i.e. - that he should save all that w'd come unto him. He tried to get the world to believe him - to believe that he was God's Son, that he came on purpose to save them - & that he was able to save them. He tried this all the time, & everywhere he could go, & among all sorts of persons whom he could get access to.

He tried to obtain their confidence in order to save them; not from all trouble, labor, & sorrow in this world; not from all sickness, pain, & death - he could promise; not deliverance from all these evils at once - but help in bearing them. He tried to save them from a great of [misery?] & - [?] in this world, by saving them from sinning; & from the way of the lost in the next world, by procuring for them reconciliation.

He tried to bring about a reconciliation. There you have it all. The Father is displeased - the children are estranged, they are sullen & gloomy & unwilling. So you have seen children, it maybe, not loving their father - have done wrong to him - he is in the right - but they don't like to confess - they want much persuading before they will go & frankly own up, & ask to be restored to father's favor.

C. came to try to induce men to return to God & be reconciled. Did not try any artifice, or deceit. He attempted to heal the [breach?] by leaving it as it was - & leading the party that was in the wrong to own that they were to blame. You know there is always the difficulty. If such as are in the wrong, & sometimes both are - would one of them could no [long?] [quarrel?].

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4. How did he attempt all this? Had a way of course - + one of his own - + one that was wise + good - good as could be. And his way was, as intext, who went about doing good to. He brought his credentials with him from heaven; showed his peeples [sic]; showed that he was entitled to a hea?ing, to respect, to esteem. His peeples [sic] = testimonials were chiefly his miracles + wonders - which showed that he came from God, + that God was with him. Many acknowledged that he was from God. Some who would not admit this, tried to say that he was from Beelzebub. Some, a glutton + a winebibber. Some, friend of publicans + sinners. So there was a variety of opinions. But, in general, it was admitted that he did good. He showed men how to be good; + how to be useful. In this way he gained their confidences, then their love, then their obedience, then their faith in his doctrines, + then their hope in him as the anointed of God, + the Savior of the world. He drew man to him, + then he led them toward God for reconciliation. All knew that he was the Friend of God, + when he convinced men he was their friend - he was the known friend of both parties, + could reconcile them. To show himself Friend of God + friend of sinners - that was his way; + then to assure all that God was able + willing to forgive + save, all that would be friends to himself, + willing to follow him.

1 God has been more than a father to the world. 2 The world has a blessed Redeemer. 3 Children have a kind + faithful Friend.

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[center] Chil'n 6. [double-underlined] [right corner] [center] Nov. 8, 1854. Sac. Matt 19 - 13 [underlined] "Then were brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them & pray. And the disciples rebuk-ed [rebuked] them. 14. But Jesus said, "Suffer etc."

Recapitulate from the preceeding pages, i.e., - the latest ones. 1. Jesus was in the world, to save it. It was no easy thing -- the world -- i.e. -- the people -- were in such a bad way. So full of their own schemes -- so in love with earthly horrors & pleasures -- that it was not easy to get them to think of heaven, & preparation for it. And it very much so now. Men don't quite forget there is a heaven, but they imagine one they are going to; & when you inquire into it, you find it's a heaven a good deal like the earth, into which they will enter & take all this world with them, pretty much. But Jesus told of a diff. heaven -- one for wh. they must be ready to give up all the follies of this world -- & you may be sure most of them didn't like it. So of course they didn't pre-pare [prepare] for it, & never got there. Men don't go to places they don't like, in any world; & C. don't drive people to heaven like cattle; ut he invites them, urges them, to follow him & get there. They can do as they will about following him. He tells us what he came to do -- what we have to do -- what troubles are in the way -- he is honest & plain with us -- & then he asks if we are willing just to keep in sight of him, & go safely to his Father's house in the heavens. And if any of eve get to those blessed mansions it will bec. he found us out, & requested us to go with him.

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