Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BUSHNELL, Horace, clergyman, born in New Preston, Litchfield County, Connecticut, 14 April, 1802; died in Hartford, Connecticut, 17 February, 1876. He was the son of a farmer, and was employed, when a boy, in a felling-mill in his native place. He was graduated at Yale in 1827, became literary editor of the New York "Journal of Commerce," and then taught school in Norwich, Connecticut From 1829 till 1831 he was a tutor at Yale, studying law at the same time, and afterward theology. In May, 1833, he became pastor of the North Congregational church in Hartford, Connecticut, where he made a reputation as a brilliant preacher. He remained in Hartford till his death, though failing health compelled him to resign his pastorate in 1859. He received the degree of D. D. from Wesleyan University in 1842, and from Harvard in 1852, and Yale gave him that of LL. D. in 1871. In 1849 Dr. Bushnell published three discourses, under the title of "God in Christ" (Hartford, 1849). The book opened with a preliminary dissertation on the inefficacy of language to express thought. The views of the doctrine of the Trinity expressed in this work were obnoxious to many of Dr. Bushnell's fellow-clergymen, and he was brought before the association of Congregational ministers, of which he was a member, to answer to a charge of heresy.
He defended himself with much skill, and the charge was not sustained. His defense was afterward published under the title "Christ in Theology" (1851). In the preface to this volume the author concludes that an exposition of exact theology in human language is impossible. Dr. Bushnell wrote much for periodical literature and published many addresses. When in Europe, in 1846, he wrote a letter to the pope, which was published in London. He was a bold thinker, and his writings are distinguished by their graphic style. "Bushnell Park," Hartford, in which the state-house stands, was named in his honor. Besides works already mentioned, he wrote "Christian Nurture" (Hartford, 1847; enlarged ed., New York, 1860); "Sermons for the New Life" (1858); "Nature and the Supernatural "(1858); "Character of Jesus" (1861); " Work and Play," a collection of addresses (1864); "Christ and His Salvation" (1864); "The Vicarious Sacrifice" (1865); "Moral Uses of Dark Things" (1868); " Woman Suffrage, the Reform against Nature" (1869); " Sermons on Living Subjects" (1872); and "Forgiveness and Law" (1874). See "Life and Letters of Horace Bushnell," by his daughter, Mary Bushnell Cheney (New York, 1880).
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