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Horace Bushnell

1802-1876. Congregational minister and theologian. Born in Connecticut, he graduated from Yale in 1827. After a brief experience in journalism he returned to Yale to study law. He passed his examinations and was ready for admission to the bar when during a revival at the college (1831) he suddenly decided to enter the divinity school. Here he encountered the vigor of N.W. Taylor,* champion of the New Haven Theology.* Bushnell's imaginative mind, however, was uneasy even with Taylor's modified Calvinism. He was attracted instead by Coleridge's Aids to Reflection. In 1833 he was ordained pastor of the North Church of Hartford, Connecticut. There he remained until 1859 when he was forced to resign because of ill health. Through his writings he sponsored three cardinal propositions, each elaborated in a major work. In Christian Nurture (1847) he argued that conversion should be educative rather than spontaneous or sudden. In Nature and Supernatural (1895) he contended that these may be harmonized. In The Vicarious Sacrifice (1866) he declared that Christ's atonement was an illustration of an eternal principle of love rather than a satisfaction by which God was reconciled to man.