Gold Rush Era Letters

Pages That Need Review

Joseph A. Benton Journal

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Needs Review

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Remarks. 1. To be self-contained contemplation Christianity alone will not fulfil [fulfill] the text. We, astray, the noise of cities - [bring?] the burdens of business & of toil - we are, or ought to be more fit exemplary of God's ser-vice than souls secluded in cloisters, temples, & from vulgar dangers.

2. All things we know we cannot say or do in the name of C. - with propriety - are things not fit to be said or done. This is infallible. How many such things you find to do - & do them - I know not. But I know certain seats are quite uniformly vacant Sunday prior to [illegible] - & that rows of pews are to [too], when the mail closes, Sunday or Monday, - what the usual occupants find to say a do, & whether in Cs. name - judge you!! Sermons vs letters.

3. The true secret of some men's sterling piety lies in their everyday religion.

C. is very God, & true man to them. Thy glory in no name but his. He serves to them to be ever at their side; & they love to regard him as there - as there a lover, & friend, & ready helper!! O, hallow all your actions with religion - ennoble all your lives with C. - purify your social [lives - striked out] habits from all taints - So shall ye fulfil [fulfill] the precept - so shall glory dwell in the land - so shall better generations succeed you; because your sons shall be like the broad limpid skies above you, & your daughters, like the flowers of the plain - for the Messiah shall be their chosen.

Last edit 9 days ago by RobertMyers
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Needs Review

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Chil 1

Sac. May 10. '57

[double underlined:] Job: 33:4 "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life"

Introduc. Believe in invisible powers. Needle to pole. Can't see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, or touch it. Lighting & thunder. Telegraph. Pull of gravitation on bodies. Circulation of safe. Beating of the heart. Swinging of a pendulum. The fact of motion, &c. [et cetera] - contagions, plagues, miasmas, diseases are samples of invisible forces that are evil.

1. God has made us with a two-fold life. Sometimes we refer to the one; sometimes to the other. Are well; body sick, mind well; soul sick, body well. Real being after all is the soul. Sore hands, feet, hair, ears, eyes, nose, &c. [et cetera] That makes us, [because?] when it is gone, nothing but day is left. Trees & plants have but a single life, that we know of; but how beautiful it is coming up in bud & leaf, flower & seed! Sources of all life are invisible; we know they differ bec. their manifest-ations differ.

2. What is this soul? A power resident in our bodies for a time, like a man in a high small house - up in the roof. It is what thinks, feels, wills; desires & wants; suggests & contrives; hopes & fears; chooses & refuses; loves & hates; say it is & it is not; resolves & sets a going; & in fact does pretty much everything.

The soul has powers to do certain things; call these power faculties. It can know. It can remember what it has learned. It can compare, can distinguish. Can reason. Can imagine. Can describe. Can tell right from wrong. Can can understand duty. Can be wise. Can hold intercourse. Can form ideas of God & religion.

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Needs Review

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4. What is the soul for? What are you [underlinded] for? Whyh are you here in this world? What is the good of having you here? Ever thought of this? Your Maker did not form you for nothing, surely! Have body, but the soul is chief for all that; body exits for the soul - to live in awhile & to be used for the soul's benefit. Soul is chief, & briefly thought of. You forget this sometimes - & so do your [hearts?] too often, we fear, thinking of the body more than the soul; trying to make something else of it than a good residence, & piece of machinery for the use of the soul.

The sould was made to grow [double-underlinded] - & wants room, & health & strength in the body, & not fine skin, complexion, curls, slender forms, taper fingers, & quirks of fashion. If vital forces don't constrcut the bodily organs well, the soul can't grow well, can't live & thrive. If you don't want to hurt your souls don't abuse your bodies by cramping or abusing them in any way.

The soul is made to act [double-underlinded] - to act right [double-underlinded]. It acts all the time. Whether you play or study, it is acting. It never will be quiet. It was made to do something noble, great, & good. It is capable of that which is Godlike. Its powers may be feeble at first, but it may grow to most wondrous heights. Loving, kindness, &c. [et cetera]

It is made for living [double-underlinded]. Not for today & tomorrow, but for ages, & eternity. It craves life, & will have it. But the soul only really lives when it enjoys, when grasping good. You may destroy its happiness by wrong-doing; by sining, by perverting it to evil. Be careful for the holy life of your souls.

Is made for learning [double-underlinded]. It begins at the beginning. It has everything to gain. Very inquisitive. Can alway find much to acquire that is worthwhile. Now is the time for it to learn -. Does it easily. Don't weary you. These are golden years. You want right [illegible] more than anything else in the world. Get it.

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Needs Review

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For its own happiness. All of us made alike in this. For this, we all are striving. But we may mistake. Your parents dont always succeed. They go wrong & are disappointed. You should inquire if they are as wise as they might be. You must search for the true secret of hap.- it is mainly a good cause.

No lasting joy without this good cause.

For God's glory. You will honor god when you do justice to yourselves. You, you are able to glorify G.! He made you to be his & to delight in him; & he will be glorified in you when you try to do all that is right. Every day you may do this. Have not to wait till you are grown. Grown people do not succeed in this any better than youth. If you begin now you will know how all the better, in the coming years.

Remarks -

1. What a wondrous nature you have! The |green?| is wonderful in deed- in growth - in processes - in unfolding |bowers?| in the mighty trees - but you are greater than the trees, & if you develop well - you shall be as much superior to what you now are - as are the great trees of the mountains - 1000 years old - compared with their [gem?].

What a deplorable thing it will be, if you do anything to hinder, hurt, destroy your souls! You have to work out your own salvation. You must repent of evil, forsake all wrong. & love all that is good. No one can do it for you Each for himself is the rule. Everything rests with each one. You have your handy & hearty full of work to do for your souls. Ask God to help: & do it all well !!

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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!!

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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 26 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.

Last edit 26 days ago by California State Library
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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 26 days ago by California State Library
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Needs Review

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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 26 days ago by California State Library
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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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