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[212] organizing at Oakland the ‘College of California,’ which in 1869 was merged in the University of California, and the presidency of which he declined. He thus belongs by birth, by training, and by professional activity to that hinterland— consisting of the valleys of the Connecticut and the Housatonic, and of the Litchfield and Berkshire Hills—whose orthodoxy has stood out against the liberal movements of the coast line from Boston to Newport.

Bushnell disliked what to his richly mystical temperament seemed the baldness of Unitarianism, and he re-established on a new basis many of the institutes of orthodoxy, notably the Trinity and the Atonement. Yet he consistently opposed all dogma, not because it was bigoted on the one hand or lax on the other, but because of the inadequacy of language as such to convey the religious mysteries which his piety bade him hold fast despite their logical contradictions. Mere logic he distrusted so deeply that its contradictions, dilemmas, antinomies were to him no arguments against a belief. According to a well-known anecdote, Bushnell, finding a college-mate stropping his razor all in one direction, bade him oppose his strokes to each other, a procedure which has been accepted as typical of Bushnell's dialectic, and which is not unlike Hegel's. Contradictories merely led him to a higher resultant—a mystical synthesis and a sort of credo quia impossibile. He saved impossible dogmas by turning them into sacraments.

At the same time, the rationalist in him offered to weaker faiths a modus vivendi. The Trinity, whose essence was a mystery inexpressible in language, was reconcilable with the divine unity in that it was a mode and an instrument by which the Absolute revealed itself to and worked upon finite souls. This epistemological view, which is said to go back to Sabellius, was perhaps a novelty in American theology; its pragmatism and distrust of logic seem even to be anticipations. In much the same way Bushnell retained the doctrine of the Atonement by attributing to it a moral effect upon the human soul, instead of the old-fashioned governmental or legalistic function of paying a debt, expiating a crime, or mending a broken law. These positions he promulgated in his God in Christ (1849), with its introductory Dissertation on the nature of language as related to thought and spirit, in Christ in

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