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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III In defernce to the good of the moral universe ~ ~ 1 Without repentance – Pardon w'd [would] be a pos. [possible] injury to the universe – by encouraging rebellion & disobed. [disobedience]. Shows holiness – & freedom from sin as not nec. [necessary] to secure the blessings of God – That obed. [obedience] was no more favored than dis-obed. [disobedience] – at least was treated no better. Tendancy of course to make more sin than ever.

2 Any action would not tend Without it his good we might accom- to mitigate the evil & rage of Sin ~ -plish for t. [the] Un. Universe – w'd [would] not be secured. The object of t. [the] rem. syst. [system] in this re-spect would not be gained – Disregarded to check sin –. To prevent the con-tagion of it on pure minds – and to soften – subdue – eradicate it from those guilty of it – thus to remove it as much as poss. [possible] to G. [God] from t. [the] world.

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3. Without our contrib. [contribution] to Un. [Universe] c'd [could] not be secured. Sh'd [Should] be unprepared to do any good – all w'd [would] be evil Still from us – our assigned part wd [would] go forever undone – we sh'd [should] have lived burdens & pests to the Universe – destroying more than we built.

IV. In deference to our own highest blessedness, now & ever. 1. Nought else fills our sense of fitness To see pardon – even while man in very act of rebellion – outrages our sense of justice & property. There is beauty & fitness in all things. Especially in the affairs of mor [moral] gov't [government] & mor [moral] relations.

We know we are not fit to be pardoned till we repent – it would surprise us to know that we were – if right-minded ~

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2. Nothing else can stop our suffering t. [the] nat. [natural] conseq's [consequences] of sin – –

Till we renounce it – must bear its miseries & its curse – agony & remorse – reproach – abusement – unrest – discontent – &c, &c. [etc., etc.] –

Must feel ourselves – guilty – wicked – with no claim on goodness or love ~

Ravages go on in us ~ –

3. Of course – Pardon no blessing to us comparatively –

All motive is taken away to just. [justify] obed. [obedience] – Char. [Character] of God is gone – license to sin is given – with legal impunity – Every influence tends to keep us from becoming holy – i.e. from being happy – without repentance no lasting hap. [happiness] – now – none in the future. All is dismay.

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Remarks. [centered] ~ 1. Learn who it is that must yield in this matter.

The obstacle is in ourselves – in our wrong characters – till we renounce sin – It is not poss [possible] – for G. [God] – consist. [consistent] – to confer forgiveness on us – we must comply ~

2. See that without repen-tance it is imposs. [impossible] for us to accomplish our bright end & aim. Made to be happy by being holy – & in nothing else – – ; & we cant [can't] be wholly so without holiness = must repent then.

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3. If we fail to secure the blessing offered in the gospel it will be wholly our own fault. – Nothing but our perverse wills & wicked hearts are now in the way. The other obstacle is removed ~

Repent now – escape – Save yourselves – hap. [happiness], life – to be – friends – world – heaven C. [Christ] heaven God – all summon you to repen-tance – to a new life – to a heavenly blessed submission to God.

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