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Text: Edgar Allan Poe, "George Bush," from Literary America, 1848, manuscript







[first page, continued:]



George Bush.
    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.













Notes:

This text begins on the last page of the manuscript about Mary E. Hewitt.

Because the MS has never fully been printed, and is currently inaccessible in a private collection, it has been necessary to make the present reconstruction. The quotation is from Leibniz. The placement of the “After reading” sentence is unsure, although reasonable. (It is specified as being in the first paragraph. Changes have been interpreted from descriptions in the auction catalogs for John A. Spoor (item 682) and H. B. Martin (item 2225). The Spoor catalog gives the variant of the French text and the new sentence following it. The Martin catalog provides the final sentence of the first paragraph as given above, and also notes the absence of the last 9 sentences as printed in "The Literati." Because no catalog reproduces this portion of the manuscript, some interpretation has been necessary.







 
S:0 - LTAM, 1848 - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - George Bush