Limborch, Philip Van

Limborch, Philip Van an eminent Dutch theologian, was born at Amsterdam June 19, 1633. He first studied ethics, history, and philosophy at his native place, and then applied himself to divinity under the Remonstrants. From Amsterdam he went to Utrecht, and attended the lectures of Voetius, and other divines of the Reformed religion. In 1657 he became pastor of the Remonstrants at Gonda, and remained there until 1667, when he removed to Amsterdam as pastor. The following year he was called to the chair of divinity in the Remonstrant college at the latter place, which position he held until his death, April 30, 1712. Limborch was on intimate terms with Locke, and corresponded with him regularly for several years on the nature of human liberty (see Locke's Ietters, Lond. 1727, 3 volumes, fol.). Limborch was gentle in his disposition, tolerant of the views of others, learned, methodical, of a retentive memory, and, above all, had a love for truth, and engaged in the search of it by reading the Scriptures with the best commentators. Next to Arminius himself, and Simon Episcopius, Limborch was one of the most distinguished of the Arminian theologians, "who exerted a beneficial reaction upon Protestantism by their thorough scientific attainments, no less than by the mildness of their sentiments" (Hatgenbach's History of Doctrines, 2:214). In 1660, having found among the papers of Episcopius, his maternal uncle, several letters relating to ecclesiastical affairs, he arranged a collection with Hartsocker, Epistolae praestantium et eruditorum Virorums (8vo). Limborch was specially noted for his doctrinal works. His principal work is Theologia Christiana (1686; 4th ed. Amst. 1715, 4to), translated, with improvements from Wilkins, Tillotson, Scott, and others, by William Jones, under the title, A complete System or Body of Divinity, both speculative mind practical, founded on Scripture and Reason (Lond. 1702, 2 volumes, 8vo). This was the first and most complete exposition of the Arminian doctrine, displaying great originality of arrangement, and admirable perspicuity and judicious selection of material. The preparation of the work was undertaken at the request of the Remonstrants (q.v.). His other works are, De veritate religionis Christianae (1687), the result of a conference with the learned Jew, Dr. Orobius: — Historia Inquisitionis (1692, fol.; translated by Samuel Chandler, under the title The History of the Inquisition, to which is prefixed a large introduction concerning the rise and progress of persecution, and the real and pretended causes of it, London, 1731, 2 volumes, 4to). He is also the author of an exegetical work, Commentarius in Acta Apos. et in Epistolas ad Romanos et ad Hebreos (Rotterdam, 1711, fol.). "This commentary, though written in the interest of the author's theological views, is deserving of attention for the good sense, clear thought, and acute reasoning by which it is pervaded" (Kitto). In addition, he edited many of the works of the principal Arminian theologians. See Niceron, Hist. des Honlares illustres, 11:39-53; Abrah. des Armorie van der Hoeven, De Jo. Clerico et Philippo a Limrborch. (Amstelod. 1845, 8vo); Hoefer, Nouv. Biogr. Genzerale, 31, s.v.; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8, s.v.; Farrar, Crit. History of Free Thought, page 386, 392; Methodist Quarterly Review, July 1864, page 513.

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