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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(6) [centered]

All admit t. [the] fact C. [Christ] died for Sinners. We hold that his death &c [etc.] – made it consistent to remit t. [the] penalty – in case of all who comply with conditions ~

Cs. [Christ's] death is substituded for Sinners suffering. Thus the necy. [necessity] of sustaining law by a partic. [particular] mode is removed – The first – great obstacle is taken away ~

It is poss. [possible] for all to be saved – it is certain that all will be who seek the Lord with all their hearts ~ ~ How transcendent appear the wisdom & goodness of God in this achiev-ment [achievement]!!

How great t. [the] Sacrifices made for mans [man's] Redemption!!!

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[upper left corner] (Inter. Evid.) July 16.

[upper right corner] (No. 17.) [in ink] Sac. [Sacramento] July 1, '52 [1852].

John 7:17 ~ [centered]

"If any man will do his will he Shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, –." ~ Sayings of Jesues worthy of all acceptance.

A teacher sent from God.

Every poss. [possible] attestation given to his words.

He was a prophet – he fulfilled prophecy.

His words a prophets attestation.

He wrought miracles – His words thus attestation also.

His words find echo in our bosoms – in the conditions of reason & common sense.

His words have been attested by martyrs – & by the purest lives & bloodest deaths. — — — — To all these we may appeal – as xtended [extended] to us – & as historical proof of Xritianty [Christianity] = but one proof that Cs [Christian]

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doctrines are from God – remains for each of us within himself. It seeks its proofs in our own pers. [personal] experience. ~

I Something to be done –.

1 – Not simply to examine & speculate with cool indifference about doc's [doctrines] – not to be forever solving perplexities – (Milton's Spirits lost – Raising of "Prov. [providence], forkn [foreknown], will, & fate)

2 Not to simply admit as true &c. [etc.] The doc's [doctrines] of C. [Christ] – 1000d's [thousands] do that, but never do the will of God. Intellect, but no heart –. Not to go to Ch. [Church], read Bible – say prayers – May perform those & many things – without doing God's will.

3 But it is practically testing the docts [doctrines] of C. [Christ] by striving with dutiful mind &

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(3) [centered]

honest heart to be all G. [God] requires of so far as we may know his will. (Obey commands – yield hearts & lives to G's [God's requirements.) Implies belief in Eve's Existence – living. " " " " [Implies belief in] right & ability to commend. " " " " [Implies belief in] a purpose simply to please him. " " " " [Implies belief in] desire to know all his will however revealed to us.

Earnestly to begin & perform known duty. ~ II Something to be known 1 Know Xn [Christian] docs [doctrines] intimately – fully – have more than general principles

(Illuss [Illustrates]/Framing – not got from books alone – Ship. Surveying – manufacturing – Housekeeping – &c [etc.] – beginners keep going to ask questions.)

2. Know then in their perf. [perfect] adap-tation to his wants & character lie in their intrinsic Excellence & beauty. Command selves to reason & corse

[written upside down, in ink] Clepp, uth Malden,

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(4) [centered]

Find 'em [them] fitted to elevate, purify, bless &c. [etc.] Meet his wants – his longings – his hopes. Longer his experience – more he loves them.

3 He knows them in fulness and Effi-cacy as a system – of docs [doctrines] ~

He goes below surface; touches the sprigs of action. Sees things as they are, with some wide views of doctrine

Soon feels he is depraved his need of atoning Saviorborn gain [again] – power of Holy Spirit.

All who really set out to do God's will soon come to these conclusions – in practice if not in theory. No fear of the docts [doctrines] if one who really begins a new life, a life of prayer – will come in the man to correct results.

[upside in black ink] Mr. Isaac

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