Drabicius, Nicholas

, a celebrated enthusiast, was born about 1587, at Straiisiiitz, in Moravia, where his father was burgomaster. He was admitted minister in 1616, and exercised his function at Drakotutz; and when he was obliged to seek a retreat in foreign countries, on account of the severe edicts of the emperor against the protestant religion, he retired to Leidnitz, a town in Hungary, in 1629. Having no hopes of being restored to his church, he turned woollen-draper; in which occupation his wife, who was the daughter of one, was of great service to him. Afterwards he forgot the decorum of his former character so much, that he decame a hard drinker; and the other ministers, justly scandalized at his conduct, informed their superiors of it, who, in a synod called in Poland, examined into the affair, and resolved that Drabicius should be suspended from the ministry, if he did not live in a more edifying manner. This obliged him to behave himself with more decency, in public at least.

When he was upwards of fifty years of age, he commenced prophet. He had his first vision in the night of Feb. 23, 1638, and the second in the night of Jan. 23, 1643. The first vision promised him in general great armies from the north and east, which should crush the house of Austria; the second declared particularly, that Ragotski, prince of Transylvania, should command the army from the east, and ordered Drabicins to inform his brethren, that < was about to restore them to their own country, and to revenge the injuries done to his people and that they should prepare themselves for this deliverance by fasting and prayer. He received orders to write down what been revealed to him and to begin in the manner of the ancient prophets, “The word of the Lord came unto me.” His visions, however, were not much regarded at first. These two were followed by many others in the same year, 1643; and there was one, which ordered, that he should open the whole affair to Comenius, who was then at Elbing, in Prussia. One of his visions, in 1644, assured him that the imperial troops should not destroy the refugees. They committed great ravages upon the territories of | Kagotski, plundered the town of Leidnitz, and besieged the castle. Drabicius shut himself up there, and did not depend so entirely upon the divine assurances as to think human means unnecessary. He even set his hand to the works: “he would not only be present,” says Comenius, who blames him for it, “but also fire one of the cannon himself; whereas, it would have been more proper for him to have been in a corner, and to have applied himself to prayer. But the imprudent zeal of this new Peter, presuming to defend the Lord with the material sword, was chastised by the Lord himself, who permitted part of the flame to recoil upon his face, and to hurt one of his eyes.” The imperialists raised the siege; but soon after besieged the place again, and took it. The refugees were plundered, and Drabicius fell into the hands of the imperialists. This did not prevent him from going to Ragotski, and telling him, Aug. 1645, that God commanded him to destroy the house of Austria and the pope; and that, “if he refused to attack that nest of vipers, he would draw down upon his family a general ruin.” The prince already knew that Drabicius had assumed the character of a prophet for Drabicius, according to the repeated orders which he had received in his ecstacies, had sent him a copy of his revelations, which Ragotski threw into the fire. The death of that prince, in Oct. 16 7, plunged Drabicius into extreme sorrow; who was in the utmost fear lest his revelation should vanish into smoke, and himself be exposed to ridicule. But he had one ecstatic consolation, which re-animated him; and that was, that God would send him Comenius, to whom he should communicate his writings. Comenius having business in Hungary, in 1650, saw Drabicius there, and his prophecies; and made such reflections as he thought proper, upon the vision’s having for three years before promised Drabicius that he should have Comenius for a coadjutor. Sigismond Ragotski, being urged by Drabicius to make war against the emperor, and by his mother to continue in peace with him, was somewhat perplexed. Drabicius denounced against him the judgments of the Almighty, in case of peace; and his mother threatened him with her curse in case of war. In this dilemma he recommended himself to the prayers of Drabicius and Comenius, and kept himself quiet till his death. | In 1654 Drabicius was restored to his ministry, and his visions p esemed themselves more frequently than ever; ordering from lime to time that they should be communicated to his coadjutqr Comenius, that be might publish them to all nations and languages, and particularly to the Turks and Tartars. Comenius found himself embarrassed between the fear of God, and that of men; he was apprehensive that by not printing the revelations of Drabicins he should disobey God, and that by printing them he should expose himself to the ridicule and censure of men. He took a middle way; he resolved to print them, and not to distribute the copies; and upon this account he entitled the book “Lux in Tenebris.” But his resolution did not continue long; it gave way to two remarkable events, which were taken for a grand crisis, and the unravelling of the mystery. One of these events was the irruption of George Ragotski into Poland; the other, the death of the emperor Ferdinand III., but both events far from answering the predictions, served only to confound them. Ragotski perished in his descent upon Poland; and Leopold, king of Hungary, was elected emperor in the room of his father Ferdinand III. by which election the house of Austria was almost restored to its former grandeur, and the protestants in Hungary absolutely ruined. Drabicius was the greatest sufferer by this; for the court of Vienna, being informed that he was the person who sounded the trumpet against the house of Austria, sought means to punish him, and, as it is said, succeeded in it. What became of him, we cannot learn; some say that he was burnt for an impostor and false prophet; others, that he died in Turkey, whither he had fled for refuge; but neither of these accounts is certain.

The “Lux in Tenebris” was printed by Comenius, at Amsterdam, in 1657; and contains not only the revelations of our Drabicius, but those of Christopher Kotterus, and of Christina Poniatovia. Comenius published an abridgement of it in 1660, with this title, “Revelationum divinarum in usum saeculi nostri factarum epitome.” He reprinted the whole work, with this title, “Lux e tenebris novis radiis aucta, &c.” These new rays were a sequel of Drabicius’s revelations, which extended to 1666.1

1 Gen. Dict. —Moreri. See Comemui, vol. X.