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The Reverend George Bush is Professor of Hebrew in
the University of New York, and has long been distinguished for the
extent and variety of his attainments in oriental literature; indeed,
as an oriental linguist it is probable that he has no equal among
us. He has published a great deal, and his books have always the
good fortune to attract attention throughout the civilized world.
His "Treatise on the Millennium" is, perhaps, that of his earlier
compositions by which he is most extensively as well as most favorably
known. After reading all that has been written, and after
thinking all that can be thought, on those great topics which Professor
Bush is so fond of discussing -- the topics of God and immortality --
the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself
face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most
profound thought is that which can be the least readily distinguished
from the most superficial sentiment.
Of late days he has created a singular commotion in
the realm of theology by his "Anastasis, or the Doctrine of the
Resurrection: in which it is shown that the Doctrine of the
Resurrection of the Body is not sanctioned by Reason or Revelation."
This work has been zealously attacked, and as zealously defended by the
professor and his friends. There can be no doubt that, up to this
period, the Bushites have had the best of the battle. The
"Anastasis" is lucidly, succinctly, vigorously and logically written,
and proves, in my opinion, everything that it attempts — provided we
admit the imaginary axioms from which it starts; and this is as much as
can be well said of any theological disquisition under the sun.
It might be hinted, too, in reference as well to Professor Bush as to
his opponents, "que la plupart des sectes ont tort dans une bonne
partie de ce qu'elles avancent, mais non pas en ce qu'elles nient."
The author of the sentence quoted, having been long dead, has no doubt
long ago learned to pardon so small an offence as the one I have
committed in substituting “tort” for the “raison” which during his
mortality, he was weak enough to write. A subsequent work on "The
Soul," by the author of "Anastasis," has made nearly as much noise as
the "Anastasis" itself.
Taylor, who wrote so ingeniously "The Natural
History of Enthusiasm," might have derived many a valuable hint from
the study of Professor Bush. No man is more ardent in his
theories; and these latter are neither few nor commonplace. He is
a Mesmerist and a Swedenborgian — has lately been engaged in editing
Swedenborg's works, publishing them in numbers. He converses with
fervor, and often with eloquence. Very probably he will establish
an independent church. He is one of the most amiable men in the world,
universally respected and beloved.