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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Maimbourg, Louis

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a celebrated French ecclesiastic and defender of Gallican liberty, was born at Nancy in 1620; entered the "Society of Jesus" in 1636; was by them sent to Rome to study theology; was, on his return to France, for six years professor of rhetoric in the College of Rouen; then began preaching, and soon attained great eminence. Having, however, in his Traite Historique de l'glise de Rome (Paris, 1685; new ed., Nevers. 1831) come out boldly in favor of the liberty of the Gallican Church, he was expelled from the Order of the Jesuits. The king took sides with Maimbourg and indemnified him by a pension. He retired to the Abbey of St. Victor, in Paris, where he wrote the history of schism of England, and died Aug. 13,1686. He had entirely disconnected himself from the Jesuits, and did not spare them much in his writings; yet in his Histoire du Calviaiisme (Paris, 1682, 4to), dedicated to the king, one can readily distinguish the influence of his former associations when he called Calvinism "the most rabid and dangerous of all the enemies France ever had to contend against." Bossuet's interpretation of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, (See BOSSUET), Maimbourg pronounced against. (Compare Schrockh, Kirchengesch. s. d Ref 7:280 sq.; Smith's Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, 2:200 [15].) As a historian Maimbourg is inaccurate and untrustworthy, receiving all the calumnies of the Jesuits against Protestantism as facts, and giving them as such. The ephemeral success of his works is to be attributed only to a pleasing and ornate style and to their romantic garb. His first collection of sermons is uninteresting and insipid, and his controversial works have long been forgotten. His historical works, consisting of Histoire de l'Arianisme (1682, 2 vols. 4to); Des Iconoclastes (16741679, 4to); Du Schisme des Grecs (1677, 4to); Des Croisades (1675, 2 vols. 4to); De la Decadence de l'Empire, depuis Charlemagne (1679, 4to); Du Grand Schisme de l'Occident (1677, 4to); Du Luthdlanisme (1680, 4to, and 2 vols. 8vo); Du Calvinissme (1682, 4to); De la Ligne (1683. 4to; 1684, 2 vols. 12mo); Du Pontificat de St. Gregoire le Grand (1686, 4to); Du Pontificat de St. Leon (1687, 4to)-the two latter of which are considered the best have been collected and published in 14 vols. 4to (Paris, 1686). See Herzog, Real- Encykl. s.v.; Dupin, Biblioth. Eccles. s.v.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 32:891 sq.; Wetzer und Welte, Kirchen-Lexikon, 6:758 sq.; Bayle, Hist. Dict. s.v.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Maimbourg, Louis'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Maimbourg, Theodore
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