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] 2. 2. [double-underlined] Jesus was more than a great Teacher -- he was a giver of life; the world's Restorer. He was to deliver men's souls from sin & misery. first -- then to restore them to the highest & best condition. He was to restore to them their bodies, in due time, purified & immortal. And he gave assurance of this by taking back his own body from the grave, and returning with it to the realms of Glory. He is called in one place the First Adam -- bec. he restores from death, what the First Adam forfeited to death. Contrast first & second Adam. xxx Now it was this Jesis, the great Life-giver who spake as in my text. He describes himself as "the way the Truth, & the Life". And so it is the most glorious person the world ever saw, that speaks & acts as the text represents. 3. [double-underlined] He had something to do with, & for children. He was glad to do something for them, part of the time. Maybe he was tires sometimes, & fisgusted with the older people, they were so careless, & worldly, & so unmindful of him, & was glad to get among the children. We know he was glad when some were brought to him & he blamed those that tried to keep them away from him. Just as he blames those now, who neither will teach children, nor try to get them to S.S, not do anything to help it on, & so are as bad as those disciples who undertook to keep the children from Jesus. Their example, & influence are vs. the S.S., & not for it -- & we suppose they forget how much C. would blame them if he were to speak to them. It is very strange. But you must come where Jesus is; & never, never, let anybody or anything, keep you away -- for Jesus has

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[right corner] 3. something to say & do for you; & great blessings, we hope, to give. 4. [double-underlined] What did he do? Put his hands on them. Was sitting, called them. Took them in his army. Placed his hands on their heads; & prayed; & pronounced his blessing on them. This was the old way of bestowing good. The Patriarchs did it. Beautiful & solemn. Not a mere thing - has it was new for them so so young. Perhaps they were too young to know what it meant. But they would soon be older, & the thing would not be forgotten. Blessings may fall on the un-conscioys [unconscious] as readily as curses. And they that suffer ills ere they know their cause, may be richly blessed ere they can tell whence the blessing is. And children may now be placed in the Savior's arms before they reaguise the fool. 5. [double-underlined] What was the blessing Christ conferred? We prayed for them -- he blessed them -- but we are to be no more. Those who brought them believed, at least, that Jesus was a great & holy person, if not the Messiah. Believed in the efficacy of the prayers of such -- believe that their benediction was the sure to [?] of God's favor. Nor were they mistaken. The prayer of C. was not an unanswered prayer -- his blessing not an empty & barren one. Those choldren were saved children. They grew up into the love of God & faithe of C. ; or if they grew not up, they were ta-ken [taken] to heaven. Holy hadns had been on them -- & holy prayers had gone up for them -- & holy lips had blessed them; and so it was made certain they were kept from the sin & woe of a fallen, base, & wicked life. If it did not come to this, the good they sought for the children, was scarely worth the suking [?]

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[left corner] 4.

6. What does our God signify by these things? Why, that children cannot be brought to him too soon -- that it may be done before they are old enough to come of themselves. That we are not only to punish them to come, but to help them to come. He unites, you children, to come close to him. He wants to take you in his army, to set you unfouliy[?] knees, to tell you of heaven, to teach you the way, to show you how to pray, & to start you on your little life-journey with his grace flowing round you, & his blessed words sounding in your ears.

Jesus came, taught, lived, & died for you as truly as for your people. He noticed & cared for children more than ever did any other teacher of holy things. He meant to have you learn his word. He wished to lhave you in his church or earth & in that in heaven He invites you now. He has wel-comed [welcomed] some of you when your parents brought you, & you belong to him, & must not think he is a stranger to you.

And here is signified to us all that heaven is largely peo-pled [peopled] with those who were never on earth but little children. I know not how they are the majority there; & that is literally true, of such, in the greatest past, is the k[?] of heaven.

1. If your parents have dedicated you to C. they have done much as those did of old. AAnd you should be thankful. 2. And more that you are old enough to go to C. for your-selves [yourselves], & ask that he will pray for you, & bless you, O, see to it!

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[center] Meat. 4: 15 & 16. [underlined]

"The land of Zabulon & the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, be- -yond [beyond] Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people wh. sat in darkness, saw great light; & to them whc. sat in the region & shadow of death, light is sprung up. " Quoted frp, Isai. 9: 1st & 2nd. --

Tell where these tribes were-- why called Gallilee of t. nations -- What sort of people they were why they had such character-istics [characteristics]. The commingling of races etc. Effect to expand, enlarge -- exalt -- & ennoble. These were a sort of border people -- & the rest of the Jews considered (perhaps justly) as somewhat rude, & be wighted -tending to barbarism etc.

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[top center] 2

To this people C. came preaching the gospel, calling to repentance & C -- causing the day -spring to ast. them, & light from God to flash on their pathway. From this sort of people C. chose his disciples; & with good reasons -- -- II California is not very unlike Zabulon & Neph. -- 1 It is an upper region -- soil & eli. 3 It is a Galilee of the nations [underlined] 2 It has a somewhat som- -bre [sombre] shade hanging over it, in spritual things, at least. 5 There are tendencies to barbarism; to moral determination here. 6 There are things which serve to uncivilize, to unman -- to utterly destroy.

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