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] (May 7 ~) (18)

[upper right corner] (1) No. 18.

Job 9:2 ~ [centered] ~

I know it is so of a truth – But how should a man be just with God? ~ Last 2 mornings considered – sin in Nat. [Nature] – Extent &c. [etc.] – & its modes of ope-ration by deceiving the heart & – and binding men in bondage, chains, & mor. [moral] darkness. alienating from God – filling them with coldness, neglect, disobed. [disobedience] & dislike toward the glorious memory of the Universe – & with flattering, false, and corrupting, & vicious notions of themselves.

Sin having thus ruined man – & offended God the most pertinent – & interesting query – wh. [which] we as sinners can ask – comes up – It is asked substantially in the text – How shall reconciliation take place?

(Explain text circs [circumstances] &c. [etc.])

I. Two grand obstacles in way of pardon.

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(2) [centered]

One lies in the necessities of the Di-vine moral gov't [government] whos law has been transgressed – the other in the char-acter of man as a transgressor. ~ Till both of these obstacles are removed there can be, & there ought to be no foregiveness – – no reconciliation. ~

To-day [Today] we will consider how the first obstacle is removed & a ground of par-don laid.

— — — — —

II 1. What is the position of men with respect to the law & govt [government] of G. [God] while without an aton'g [atoning] sacrifice?

Ans. [Awsner] – Rebels &c [etc.] – under condemnation – penalty is suspended over heads ~

2. Why was not t. [the] penalty of death inflicted on the first transgressors – of t. [the] race immediately

Ans. [Awsner] God – foreknew it – made provision for it promised a Savior in Eden. &c. [etc.] This day of respite given, &c. [etc.]

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[Written across the sermon, in ink] Rev Dr Beecher Muderatur Rev J Guerney Clark – Senite Prayer was offered bythe Mast. Hn Clark Scribe had a copy of the letters run in.

(3) [centered]

2 All men are on trial now – respite given Salvation is freely – and cordially – offered on fair & well understood conditions

III How comes it to hap [happens] that men are thus so favorably placed, & put in possesion of means to secure their deliverance from sin & its ills?

Ans. [Answer] By the pure love & kindness – the mere grace & goodness of God.

A broken law brings down pen sure & unerring unless God – the law given in-terfere. ~

Offenders can do nothing toward atoning for broken law. Law & good from nat. [nature] of things allow of no aton [atonement] by – those who had transged [transgressed].

For full & perf. [perfect] obed. [obedience] is required – & future keeping law can only answer for itself. No extra suffering – can atone – for – none.

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(4) [centered]

can be endured which the penalty exacts not. No poss. [possibility] then for offenders to make aton. [atonement] nor for any finite creatures to make one ~ – (So in hum. [human] govts [governments] unless imperfect.)

God must provide a ground of pardon if any be provided – it is out of creature power.

What then is the IV Provision G. [God] has made for removing the nec.y [necessity] of pen [penalty] – from the sinner?

Ans. [Answer] The sacrifice of his Son on Calvary to exhibit his justice – his hate of sin – his love of holiness – as much as w'd [would] have been done by the inflec [inflection] of leg. [legitimate] pen. [penalty]. ~

How does t. [the] Suffs. [sufferings] of such a person sustain law – more than that of any other.

(King of Locrinus ~) Makes it not incons't [inconsistent] with t. [the] goodness of God to remit the penalty in case of penitents ~

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(5) [centered]

V. Do you ask why God did not did not pardon at once – absolutely all sinners. (confounding it & wrong &c.)

Ans. [Answer] Bec. [Because] – benevolence forbade it – he could not & maintain his authority – & secure the good of the rest of t [the] Universe.

Why was not repentance a Suff. [sufficient] ground of pardon –?

Ans. [Answer] Bec. [Because] – Man may forgive his neighbor so, on confession – but a ruler governor – never!! No tendency in repen-tance to maintain law – (tho. [though] it be highly proper as a condition). Benev [benevolemce] requires t. [the] support of law by Suffering – adequate to that. G. [God] w'd [would] never have slain his Son it it were not nec. [necessary] to lay a ground of pardon –

He act for highest good of all ~

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