Kotter, Christopher

Kotter, Christopher a German religious fanatic, was born at Sprottau, Silesia, in 1585. He claimed to have visions (which were published at Amsterdam in 1657). The first of these was in June, 1616. He fancied he saw an angel, under the form of a man, who commanded him to go and declare to the magistrates that, unless the people repented, the wrath of God would make dreadful havoc. His pastor and friends kept him in for some time, nor did he execute his commission, even though the angel had appeared six times; but in 1619, when threatened with eternal damnation by the same spirit, he would suffer himself to be restrained no longer. Kotter was laughed at; nevertheless, his visions continued, and were followed by ecstasies and prophetic dreams. He waited on the elector palatine, whom the Protestants had declared king of Bohemia, at Breslau, in 1620, and informed him of his commission. He became acquainted, in 1625, with Comenius, whom he converted to be a believer in his prophecies, which at this time were rather of a political cast, presaging happiness to the elector palatine, and the reverse to the emperor, so he became at length obnoxious, and in 1627 was closely imprisoned as a seditious impostor. He was finally liberated again and banished from the empire; went to Lusatia, then subject to Saxony, and died there in 1647. Kotter's visions were related by Comenius in a work entitled Lux in tenebris (Amst. 1657; an epitome of this work appeared in 1660: see, for an account of it, under DRABICIUS). See Bayle, Hist. Dict. 3:679 sq. (J. H.W.)

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