Joseph A. Benton Collection

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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 correspondences and sermons dating from 1848 to 1893. 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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[upper left corner] (No. 28) [upper right corner] (July 2d)

2 Peter - [centered] 3:9 ~ [centered]

"But is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

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Wrong views in community and to what Evangelical Xns [Christians] hold in respect to the divine will ~

Misrepresentations are made – & things outrageous changed – either wilfully – or in prejudice – or – more commonly, I presume, thro [through] misapprehension & mistakes. Hold no view of God either derogatory or unworthy – but one wh. [which] both Commends itself to our reason & is consonant with the S. S. [Song of Solomon] ~

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(2) [centered]

Text teaches that G. [God] does not wish any one of us to perish in sin – jus truly desires all of us to come to repentance.

I What is a desire –? Same in 1. man as in God – in its prop. [proper] nat. [nature] – get our notion of Deity from selves. Being of Emotions. 2. A going forth of t. [the] mind after some good. 3. Distinguish twixt voluntary & involuntary. 4. Gods [God's] desire for t. [the] repentance of all is an invol. [involved] desire – no detering to gratify is wholly.

II Does God have any desires wh. [which] he cannot consis'tly [consistently], & does not gratify?

Yes!! Mor. [Moral] Being – has made choices – & therefore – one desire in each case was ungrat-ified. God wished no sin – but it came. God wished to relieve C. [Christ] – but did not.

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(3) [centered]

Wishes to send on no one any evil – but does do it –– No parent per-ishes with So much reluctance – but he does not spare us.

So as here are other desires which are not gratified – this one may not be – the thing is possible.

III But will not God's purposes

1 be carried out? Yes!! But he does not propose all he desires.

2 What is purposed – determined or – is desired in some sense – but all that is desired is not purposed. –

3 Some things are purposed bec. [because] they are desireable in some aspects but not in all. For this reason God sends afflictions – wishes not to – but purposes it on the whole as for the best.

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(4) [centered]

Physician leg. &c. [etc.] – Absol [Absolutely] nec. [necessary] to t. [the] greatest good.

4. Other things, not desirable "herse" – are pur-posed bec. [because] they are unavoidably conneted [connected] with that wh. [which] is nec. [necessary] to something desired –.

I wish to visit London – go by walk – Sea-sick – lead thing – lest I prefer suf-fering it natine than not going.

On this prime. G. [God] purposed the existence of sin – not desiring at all – but only co incidental to what he did wish = the hap. [happiness] of the creatures he might form.

Illus. [Illustrate] Father, saved chiln [children] – sends to school. – Knows one will do ill – disgrace himself, parents &c. & turn out a base fellow. Shall he: . [therefore] refuse to send any of them to school? Shall he keep all in ignorance & vel ruin all? Shall he do best he can?

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(5) [centered]

IV Purposes of God then will all be fulfilled – every plan he has entered on will carried out just as he expected it would be – but all the desires of God are not realized – nor ever can be; – and even some things are realized contrary to his wishes – & against all his en-treaties. God then foreknows – if you please, purposes sin – not bec. [because] he desires it – not bec. [because] it will result in good, for it is only evil – but bec. [because] it is not poss. [possible] for Him to prevent it in such a mor. [moral] system, consistently.

He wishes no one to sin – necessitates no one to sin – warns, forbids, not to sin

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And now that men have sinned – he desires the repentance &c [etc.] of all – & will secure it if poss. [possible] to him.

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