Comenius (properly Komensky), JOHN AMOS, was born at Comna, in Moravia, March 28, 1592. Having studied at Herborn and Heidelberg, he entered the ministry of the Bohemian Brethren's Church, and took charge (1616) of the parish of Prerau, as also of the rectorship of its theological seminary. In 1618 he removed to Fulneck, where he filled the same offices. Driven from his native country in the Bohemian anti-Reformation, he settled at Lissa, in Poland, where he superintended the high school of the Brethren. In 1632 he became one of their bishops, and, as such, prepared the way for their renewal as a church, caring in particular for the continuance of their episcopal succession. His skill as an educator, especially his new method of teaching Latin, gave him great celebrity, and he traveled through a large part of Protestant Europe to improve the methods of education, being called to England for this purpose in 1641, and to Sweden in 1642. He became closely connected with the mystic Antoinette Bourignon (q.v.), and in 1657 published Lux in Tenebris (4to), in which he reported the "visions" of Kotter, Poniatovia, and Drabicius. In after years, however, he regretted this connection, and acknowledged that "he had been entangled in an inextricable labyrinth." He settled finally at Amsterdam, where he died Oct. 15, 1671. His principal works are: Theatrum divinum (Prague, 1616): — Labyrinth der Welt (Prague, 1631; Berlin, 1787): — Janua linguarum reserata (Lissa, 1631), translated into many languages, and, among others, into Persian and Arabic, an elementary encyclopedia divided into 100 chapters and 1000 paragraphs: — Opera didactica omnia (Amst. 1657, fol.): — Ratio disciplicae ordinisque eccl. in Unitate Fratrum Bohernorum (Lissa, 1632; Amsterd. 1660; Halle, 1702; in German by Koppen; in English by Seifferth, Ch. Const. of the Boh. Brethren (Lond. 1867).

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