Heering, Christian - Prophecy of a bloody battle
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Story of Prophecy – Henry James Forman
In the year 1744, when Heering was thirty-four, he announced to Herr Susse that the Lord had shown him a vision.
"A great leader with his attacking force would come upon Saxony, bathe his sword in blood up to the hilt, and enter the city of Dresden as into an open park. But soon thereafter he would depart through the Upper Gate"
Heering was no politician, no fireside tactician, no reader of newspapers. Indeed, he could barely sign his name. Sturdy of build, a hard worker and an excellent husband and father, he was one of those simple men whose trade was all his life. His reading was chiefly confined to the Bible.
Frederick the Great, moreover, in 1744, a young inexperienced ruler, was having a very difficult time and scarcely knew his plans himself, let alone his publishing them abroad.
Yet in 1745, nearly two years after Heering's vision, Frederick's army under Leopold of Dessau fought a bloody battle in Saxony, at Kesselsdorf, on December 15th then occupied the city of Dresden, and almost immediately left it - on December 25th - because a Peace had been concluded between Austria, Saxony and Prussia. The prophecy had been correct in every particular.
The plain incult fisherman then predicted an alliance between Maria Theresa of Austria and Louis XV of France against the harassed Frederick the Great - and such a treaty, unsuspected even by many statesmen, was actually announced in May, 1756, some two months later. The Seven Years War Heering prophesied many months before its commencement.
Vision after vision bearing on the war came true a longer or shorter period after he uttered them, and though many smiled at his prophecies, Heering's fame began to spread over the countryside.
Like some supremely gifted tactician or chief of staff, he was going into minute details of the war. When he saw the Saxon troops building a bridge of boats near Schandau, he answered, in reply to teasing humorous queries as to what he thought of it:
"This bridge is of very small value, and will not be used. They had better watch Leipzig. There I see foreign nations arriving."
One may imagine the roars of laughter of soldiers and burghers.
This was in the middle of August, 1756, when troop movements were numerous and complicated, so that even many military men were puzzled. Yet, some two weeks later an army of Frederick the Great entered Leipzig; the Saxon Court fled precipitately at its approach, and the bridge of boats proved to be of no use at all, precisely as Heering had said.
One of the chiefs of the Saxon army finally sent for Heering, to hear the prophecies from his own lips; the man seemed almost infallible. His were no dreams, his biographer, Herr Susse, tells us, but ‘figures, pictures and prospects’, seen broad awake, voices heard and by them urged to communicate his visions. His effort to reach his king came no closer than the king's confessor, Father Ludovico (for Saxon kings were of course Catholics), but he did arrive so far, with a written message to his sovereign.
And he went right on prophesying. For 1758, he predicted a great battle on the banks of the Elbe, opposite Konigstein, his home town.
"The Lord," he said, “also showed me that at last, after that event, the Austrian army was drawing away over the mountains into Bohemia. Very clearly I saw the pack-animals filing by and the Prussian force following them”
It happened exactly in that manner three months later, though at the date of his prophecy none could have foreseen that particular result.
He had seen, he declared, in 1770, the vision of a small girl with an old book in her hands; on its pages he read the words: "a heavy time of great dearth”. And a famine did indeed fall upon Saxony in 1772 and many thousands died of it. His was an extraordinary case of clairvoyance in space and time.