Gold Rush Era Letters

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Joseph A. Benton Journal

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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.

Last edit about 2 months ago by dindraga
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[right justified] Feb. 14: 1858. Sae

[center] Chil[?] 8. [double-underlined] and a Told you last month how to conduct towards [?] at you might live long, fit so well with you[underlined]. how we are to confide how you are to conduct yourself so that they may live long, + it may go well with your parents[underlined].

Text says it's a wise son that makes a glad parent. It's your wisdom that will make if go well with your father + mother. To some it seems strange to talk of wisdom in children; for they say the Bible alleges that "foolishness is found within the beauty of a child". Sure; and a child is wise just so far as [?] that f[?] out, + something better in its place. By getting the [?] out + the wisdom in you will make your parents glad + you will not do much for their happiness if you do just this.

What is a wise child + how is he to become such? He is wise, who gets a cultivated mind, heart, taste, course, + will. This includes a great deal + you may well say that many grown people are not so wise in these ways as they might be. But that must not stop you. A cultivated mind! That is what? One that produces good thoughts, fine actions, + many of them. Cultivated, [?] to [?]. [?]. You cultivate the mind by ridding it of hard, rough, bad things-by reading good books-, by studying lessons-, by observing +thinking- by not letting weeds + thorns grow there + by using what you learn + turning your thoughts into actions. Some know enough, but don't turn it to account.

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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5. Cultivate conscience. What conscience is. Maybe cultivated. Maybe scared + hard[?]. No joy to [?] like a[?] of course. Nothing shows wisdom like a tender course. -nothing will to gladder hav-[?] as tas[?] children fou[?]by an enlightened course. -strict regard forwhat they [?] right. C[?] [?] understanding [?] wisdom, unless you cultivateyour consciences.

6. But the brightest wisdom is religion. Children can love [?] God as lazily as grown people- can be religious too- may not show it in the same ways. You know now how to please others- your family[?], your mates[?], + the people in your neighborhoods- + you can tell [?] how you may please God. If you conduct so as to please God, + good people- that is to be religious. All of us walk with God when we conduct so as to please him; and just so children can be wise enough to walk with God.

Well- this is to be wholly wise. You will be wise if you make any of these att[?]- so for as you go- but you will be very wise if you have also that wisdom that dying[?] in the fear of the Lord. And in telling you how to become wise- I can only sayapply[?] yourselfto the doing of al these [?], just as you have opportunity; as these are [?], especially if you care more to be wise, to make your family[?] glad, than to be foolish[?] + devoted to [?]. All your life is given you to from [?]; but you must not put it off till [?] times[?]. [?] that is the very way many good people took to be divine wil[?] all their days. Some of you think you will be different when you grow[?]- but no! If you ever have any wisdom you will [?] it in childhood. By the time they are grown up without wisdom, most think it too late to try to be wise.

Last edit 23 days ago by California State Library
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4.

The particular reason for being wise - as in text is, that you may make your parents glad, & not burden them with heaviness & sorrow. How good the reason is. Doubtless some of the brightest joys of the world are those of parents, whose children are wise - many of the bitterest tears those of fathers & mothers whose children are foolish & wicked. Any of us can see this to be true. If you are wise - especially wise with the wisdom of [?] religion - what joys will you kindle in the bosoms of parents; requited for their pains - never sorry for all they have done - & then old age will be glorious in the light of your wisdom.

[?] to live for what is coming. Wisest for next world, wisest for this; wisest for tomorrow; wisest for to-day. If you seek to be wise - how glad will your parents be now! how glad if Death should remove any of you from their homes! Can't be sure that all will live to yourself*. Then how they will delight to think & talk of all you were, in loveliness & wisdom! How glad will they be in the coming years if you all live on together! How hopefully can they leave you here if themselves are called away before you are old! What joy in fact will be theirs, and all life's changes, allotments, trials, & dangers! But what if you lack wisdom! What if you are full of folly & sin! How many a father's head will bow in grief! What heaviness in many a mother's heart! What iron will pierce parental bosoms! Do you not know what moving in households, lost - what entirely deathly caused by foolish & fallen sons & ruined daughters in Cal.? O, it is terrible!!!

I say thten, children, appreciate, love, revere, & obey your parents - that it may be well with them, may live long - & be glad for you!!

Last edit 28 days ago by hannahb25
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4

1. Abraham & Isaac were not afraid of anything wh. they believed God had commanded.

If we take right hold of a duty, & go right along with it - though it be severe - it will prove quite easy.

2. A lad may know all about religion & its services, & may understand the matter so well, that he will know when any mistake is made, or any part left out

3. Not a new thing in the world that a lad should be dutiful, truthful, humble, & religious; & ready to accept whatever is the will of God concerning him.

4. A lad maybe as ready & as willing to die as an old man bowed down with gray; & may submit to die before him if such seems to be God's will. It is sad to find that people, large or small, will not be like Isaac, when God commands them away.

5. When children & youth show the spirit that Isaac did we may safely predict for them a smooth peaceful & happy life like [?]. Nothing is so promising, so indicative of excellence & all good below, as a pious childhood & youth - & surely nothing else can give others, or us, such assurances of a blessed hereafter!!

Last edit 24 days ago by hannahb25
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4

This girl was not afraid to be by herself - to speak modestly to strangers - but c'd take care of herself & mind her own affairs - & not forget what was wanted of her.

This girl was well aware of the troubles around them - but was taught to love & trust God, & hope for the best.

And as for this boy, so loved by parents, brother, & sister - & so strangely kept & care for - what of him?

Why, he was prayed for daily in that cot - though he was the foster child of the princess. He was at school - he was a diligent pupil - he grew up modest & well behaved - he was a better & wiser boy than any round him - & his plenty did not spoil him.

He did not forget & despise the humble place where he was born - nor the family of his kindred. He loved to go & see them when he could, & give them presents & carry them books, & be their teacher, & do them good.

When he became a man he thought well of all good & great things - but believed God & his service & his people greather & better than - Egypt - world - riches power - & splendor.

Then God lifted him up - made him a Deliverer - a [?] - Head of a wonderful nation - & gave him a name mong men - and a place of honor on earth & in heaven - such as no other mere man as held. Can you not be like him? If you would - serve Christ as Moses did.

Last edit 28 days ago by hannahb25
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Nov. 14 : 1858. Sac.

Chiln. 14

Gen. 11:9.

"Therefore is the name of it called Babel," "because the Lord did there confound the language of all" "the Earth."

What the subject 2 months ago? How long ago those events regarding Abraham? Nearly 4000 years. You do not reckon time as you will when you are older. A happy thing in childhood that it takes a great while, as it seems, to live over a small space. - Day, weeks, & years look so very long. But you have so many pleasures - so many sources of joy - & can be so readily delighted, that time don't often hang heavily on you.

Then for older people, it is very well that all all things get reversed & that time seems shorter than it is. So that, in maturer years, when we are hurried & driven, we seem to live over many events, & a great space in a very little while. In that way it comes about that time does not hang heavily on grown people, though their pleasures are fewer than children; & in that way it is that they don't get weary of the world, & become sick of living.

Last edit 16 days ago by hannahb25
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2.

I now wish you to stretch your thoughts away back among the old centuries again.

I want you to imagine a great plain; one as large as you would see if you were on Mt. Diablo & looking over toward the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas; possibly larger. Rivers run through it. Lakes are in it. Thousands of people are gathered in it. The soil is wonderful. So fine a soil was rare. Never outdid Cal. Had, we was said, to drive their cattle away into poorer regions to prevent them from disease & death from too much fatness.

These people were all of one language. Not much like crowds on our shores - where 8 or 10 different languages will sometimes be heard. These people on this great plain, in the old days, got their living easily & had time & money to spare. What w'd they do with time & money? What do people in this great plain do with it? Spend them! Yes; sometimes how much in vain & foolishly!

Well those ancient men of the world were ambitious. Desired to do some great thing. What could they undertake? No factories - mills - colleges, or asylums to be built. No Railroads or Tele. No steamers & vessels of war. What then could they do - & when done, say - So, what great things our hands have done - see, how noble & splendid!

Last edit 16 days ago by hannahb25
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3.

They did build a great city; but when it was large enough for all their needs, they were not satisfied yet - but must have something grander & more prominent, that should throw itself up among the clouds. They fixed on something - not a spire or a great church; & they went to work on it, building of brick & mortar, the best they could find at hand.

Any of you know what they began to build - where it was - & whether they ever finished the great work? If not - what stopped them? Had materials, men, money, & time just as before why did the work cease? They thought to keep close together - & as they all would own the tower none would go out of sight of it. But they were not so wise as they supposed. Couldn't do as they pleased.

What was done to stop them? How simple was the method! All at once they could work together no longer. The structure was left unfinished. Then they began to go away, and to look for new homes in distant lands. Nothing was the matter excpt they couldn't take plain; & couldn't understand one another any more; & wouldnt stay with each other.

Last edit 16 days ago by hannahb25
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4.

To be of one language & one speech maybe a good or a bad thing. It was bad at [?].

We try to get a com. lang. in our Mathematics in Telegraphic signs - &c Possibly the English tongue will be spoken everywhere in 200 years, more or less.

There is another speech that is common - & will be universal we hope = the lang. of prayer.

The spread of Christianty will make all peoples one in feeling, then in voices of prayer & praise - approaching the one language of heaven.

The Bible, the Sab., the Sunday School can do what the town of Babel could not - can bring all to thinking, speaking, & doing alike.

And you learn that the way to build something that shall reach unto heaven is to build on Aposs., & Prophs., & J.C. himself chief [?]; for that will stand, & go high enough - & all will be more alike in speech, the higher they build & go - till, at least, there shall be the one lang. of heaven; from many tongues & kind[?].

No doubt there were many boys & girls that saw that tower of Babel, & went out into the world, to see it no more while they lived; & perhaps to forget it. Are you going to begin this spiritual tower on holy foundations - then leave it half-done - & go out into your coming years & forget to climb it??

Last edit 16 days ago by hannahb25
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