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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It is objected that he depends on Divine aid – But he must do all I have indicated nevertheless. Spirit aids – but does not the Sinner's work – Perhaps the S. [Spirit] is with you Now – try & see!!

Remarks ~[centered]

1 Do I then discourage study – meditation – reading – prayer for sinners. By no means – I only these are not enough – will not produce change of heart wihtout action &c. [etc.] – They lend to good – but will not do it.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 2. See the consistency of this two-fold use of means. – God uses means wh. [which] may be the occasion of leading us to Rep. [repentance] – We are to employ these means ourselves in connection with our ac. [actions] thru. [through] them. ~

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(No. 22.) – (Sunday May 21 ~) [centered] (Nat. Regen.)

2 Cor. [Corinthians] 7:10 ~[centered]

"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of – xtt" [For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of – but the sorrow of the world worketh death.]

~

Shown prop. [property] of Rep. [repentance] as a ground of fitness prior to pardon – Removing obsc. [obstacle] of bad char. [character] &c [etc.] – To-day [Today] we are to dwell on the nat. [nature] of the change of char. [character] involved in true rep. [repentance] – – Text is de god. sor. [sorrow] – Since is another use of t. [the] word wh. [which] is distinct. – Xplain [Explain] these diff.s [differences] – god. sor. [sorrow] has ob. [obvious] sin as com. [common] vs. G. [God] – sorrows on acc. [account] of sin &c [etc.] – wor. [worry] sor. [sorrow] has ob. [obvious] misery he is enduring – regrets bec [because] – makes him wretched – but will do same again if he can escape the conseqences & – – no true sorrow.

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(2) [centered]

True rep. [repentance] involves forsaking of sin – a change of char. [character] and conduct – when exter. [external] conduct has been inconsist [inconsistent] with right heart ~

Let us consider the Nature of this change in the mind & char. [character].

I Not a change of External relations, – Simply or necessarily.

1 Not a beginning to go to church regularly

2 Not in supporting gospel institutions.

3 Not in receiving baptism.

{7 Not in becoming a member of t. [the] church.

4 Not in leading a more steady life.

5 Not in a general assent to the truths & doctrines of the Bible ~

6 Not in a convic. [conviction] of t. [the] nec. [necessity] of religion.

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(3.) [centered]

II Not in any change of the Conss [conscience] properties of the soul.

1 No new abilities – talents – acquirements affects not the intellect or t. [the] understand [understanding].

2 Called indeed a – new-birth – newcreation – a resurrection – can't be all three literally – nor any one of them literally. Must not squeeze – force – the language. Figures these are – for showing t. [the] greatness of t. [the] change.

3 Can't be any change in this sort for then man c'd [could] not be called on to repent – must wait till he made able – patched up – cant [can't] give himself new properties of mind ~

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(4) [centered]

III It is an internal moral change – a new mor. [moral] dispos. [disposition] –

1 But yet – not simply the putting into t. [the] mind of some new taste – relish – delight – perception &c [etc.] – these may in some sense follow – they are not the change itself.

2 A new gov.g [governing] state of the will. A high, lofty – change of the great con-trolling pic. [piece] of the mind – a new purpose respecting all the great ends of life & action.

Make you a new heart – Cease to evil – Be ye reconciled – Son give me thy heart &c. [etc.] – Show will.

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