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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current of the thoughts of his heart give him character – that he is good or bad – according to the course & tenor of his thoughts – that what he thinks & cherishes in his heart he is in his heart ~

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Doc. [Doctrine] of text then which I shall dwell on is that – Trains of thought indulged in – cherished – loved go to fix habits – from character – fashion – the heart – In this sense – "As a man &c. [etc.]"

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Look at one indulging – Say – 1 Vain thoughts. Ever intent on gossip – scandal – trifles of every kind –. Vapid schemes – unimportant particulars – dress – fashion –

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Display – artifice – deception – trickery – "Tell or hear some new thing" – Castle building – fancy scheming &c. [etc.] – What do the become – but any nothings? – Visionaries – fortunehunters – proud – conceited – supercilious unbearable – sinful – next wicked ~

"The Thought of foolishness is Sin." "How long shall vain thoughts lodge in thee"? "The L. [Lord] knoweth t. [the] thots [thoughts] of man that they are vanity." I hate vain tho'ts [thoughts] – but thy law do I love ~

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2 Selfish Thoughts. Always I & me uppermost – all centers here. Cant [Can't] relieve a beggar without thinking how it will effect me. An item of intelligence – –. Whatever occurs his first thought how can I profit by it? – manage to get something?

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So thinking he acts only for himself. Magnifies himself into every thing – over every thing –. He is for all – all for him. Cares for nothing wh. [which] is not for him. Takes care there is nothing not for him. Good specimen of a Centristic god. (Side walks) (Struts) ("Ins & outs") "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts." "God is not in all his thoughts." ~ 3. Lewd thoughts – driving away a good conscious ~ A vile imagination & a tender conscious do not dwell in the same bosom, long: they are mortal enemies. Loves to revel in imagary scenes of indulgence cherishes libidinous desires – excites a polluted imagination ~

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Thus excites his evil propents [propensity] Breaks, down nature's barriers – Blunts mor. [moral] susceps [susceptibility] – Hardens heart – is ready for all dissipations & indulgences – When chance comes – many seek them. Goes down hill – is lost ~ "If thou has thot [thought] evil levy their hand or mouth. "Tho'ts [Thoughts] of t. [the] wicked one an abomination." "The imagin. [imgination] of t. [the] thoughts of his heart was only evil"

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4 Thoughts of ill-will, malice &c. [etc.] Broods over wrongs real or im-agined – whets [what's] the point of his dis-traction & madness – want his resorted into new life – hatched scorpions –

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& strikes with unwound rage at every foe fancied, or real. Makes a monster of himself – odious – unloved. Hateful & hating one another – Cursing – and accused ~ "Then feet run to evil – then tho'ts [thoughts] are thought of inigrety.

5. Discontented, Complaining, thoughts. Ever dwelling on something to make them restless – longing – ill-foredboding – Thinking so – soon believe they are most ill-used by every body – world is all against them – & Providence too – & finally do set all against them. – So unlovely ~ Distrustful – repining – unthankful – disobedient, unsubmissive, defying. Complain vs. God for taking away idol – & by then wrong feelings compelling Him to afflict them still more ~

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