Bush, George Dd

Bush, George D.D., was born in Norwich, Vt., June 17, 1796. He entered Dartmouth College at the age of eighteen, passed through a course of theological study at Princeton, in 1824 was appointed a missionary at the West, and became settled as the pastor of a Presbyterian church at Indianapolis. He resigned this charge and came to New York in 1829. In 1831 he was elected professor of Hebrew and Oriental literature in the University of New York, and immediately entered upon a literary career which won for him the reputation of profound scholarly ability. His first published work, issued from the press of the Harpers in 1832, was a Life of Mohammed (18mo). In the same year he published a Treatise on the Millennium (reprinted, Salem, 1842, 12mo). In 1840 he began a series of Bible commentaries, which, under the title of Notes on Genesis, Exodus, etc., down to Judges, still remains an acknowledged authority (N. Y. 1840-1852, 7 vols.). In 1844 the publication of another of his works (Anastasis, or the Doctrine of the Resurrection), in which, by arguments drawn from reason and revelation, he denied the existence of a material body in a future life, raised a vigorous opposition against him. Undaunted by the fierceness of his critics, he replied to their assaults by the issue of two new works, The Resurrection of Christ, in answer to the question, "Did Christ rise with a body spiritual and celestial, or terrestrial and material?" and The Soul; an Inquiry into Scriptural Psychology (N. Y. 1845, 12mo). In these later works it was very apparent that his mind had become unsettled, and all confidence in his early beliefs had forsaken him. About this time he became enamored of the vagaries of mesmerism and animal magnetism. He at last became a Swedenborgian, and edited The New Church Repository with decided ability. He also published, in the interest of his new faith, New Church Miscellanies (N.Y. 1855, 12mo). Among his other Swedenborgian works are, Statement of Reasons; Letters to a Trinitarian; Memorabilia; Mesmer and Swedenborg (a partial defense — of Mesmerism, giving rise to a long discussion with Tayler Lewis about the "Poughkeepsie seer," Davis, etc.); A Reply to Dr. Woods on Swedenborgianism; Priesthood and the Clergy unknown to Christianity (1857), which excited commotion among the Swedenborgians. "He was an enthusiastic scholar and a popular author. His ardent and versatile temperament led him to frequent changes of opinion; but no one ever doubted that he was conscientious in his convictions, and willing to make any sacrifice for the cause of truth. His life was the life of a scholar." He died at Rochester, N. Y., Sept. 19, 1858. — Men of the Time, p. 74; N. Y. Observer; Fernald, Memoirs and Reminiscences of the late Prof. G. Bush (Bost. 1860), consisting to a great extent of letters and contributions from friends of the deceased, viz., Rufus Choate, W. S. Haydon, Dr. Bellows, and others.

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