Engelbrecht, Johann (1599–1642)
German religious visionary. Engelbrecht acquired his psychic
gifts after an illness, when he announced that he would live
forever. In an account of his visions he states
‘‘I heard for 41 nights the holy angels singing and playing
on the heavenly music to my bodily ears. Those would be wise
witlings who are unable to believe anything but what they hear
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or grasp themselves. Our Lord has been beforehand with, for
he opened the corporeal ears of the widow Shamann, who, sitting
up with me one night and being in profound devotion,
clapping her head to mine heard such a grand heavenly concert
of music that she was not able to express it sufficiently. Anyone
inquiring of her she will give the same account.’’
The ecstatic visions of Engelbrecht were followed by physical
and other psychic phenomena. Troopers fired at him and
broke a lance to splinters on his head, but he walked off uninjured.
In ecstatic condition he preached for weeks without
food, weariness, or loss of strength. To prove that his abstinence
from food was genuine, and that he was fed spiritually,
he went voluntarily to prison, guarded for a week or so from
all possibility of material sustenance, and came out as strong as
when he entered.
He predicted and foresaw in a vision in 1625 the events that
the French Revolution brought about. When the vision was explained
to him, he writes that he heard a voice say,
‘‘ ‘John, get up and write down what thou hast seen.’ But as
I kept lying still in my bed I received a blow upon my face, and
heard a voice say ‘Thus shall it be with all who do the work of
God negligently.’ Upon which I got up, lit a candle and wrote
down the vision and exposition. Now when the day came and
the pastor saw me, observing my eye to be black and blue, he
asked me which way it became so. On explaining he was greatly
surprised.’’
Sources
Engelbrecht, Johann. The Divine Visions of Johann Engelbrecht.
2 vols. Northampton, England, 1780.