1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bull, George
BULL, GEORGE (1634-1710), English divine, was born at Wells on the 25th of March 1634, and educated at Tiverton school, Devonshire. He entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1647, but had to leave in 1649 in consequence of his refusal to take the oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth. He was ordained privately by Bishop Skinner in 1655. His first benefice held was that of St George's near Bristol, from which he rose successively to be rector of Suddington in Gloucestershire (1658), prebendary of Gloucester (1678), archdeacon of Llandaff (1686), and in 1705 bishop of St David's. He died on the 17th of February 1710. During the time of the Commonwealth he adhered to the forms of the Church of England, and under James II. preached strenuously against Roman Catholicism. His works display great erudition and powerful thinking. The Harmonia Apostolica (1670) is an attempt to show the fundamental agreement between the doctrines of Paul and James with regard to justification. The Defensio Fidei Nicenae (1685), his greatest work, tries to show that the doctrine of the Trinity was held by the ante-Nicene fathers of the church, and retains its value as a thorough-going examination of all the pertinent passages in early church literature. The Judicium Ecclesiae Catholicae (1694) and Primitiva et Apostolica Traditio (1710) won high praise from Bossuet and other French divines. Following on Bossuet's criticisms of the Judicium, Bull wrote a treatise on The Corruptions of the Church of Rome, which became very popular.
The best edition of Bull's works is that in 7 vols., published at Oxford by the Clarendon Press, under the superintendence of E. Burton, in 1827. This edition contains the Life by Robert Nelson. The Harmonia, Defensio and Judicium are translated in the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology (Oxford, 1842-1855).