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Martin Luther on Pandemics

March 9, 2020


When the Reformer, Martin Luther, was dealing with The Black Death plague in Germany, he wrote these wise words that can help inform the way we approach things happening in our world right now...

"I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.


If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others.


If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above.


See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash no foolhardy and does not tempt God."


Luther's Works Volume 43,,pg 132: the letter "Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague" written to Rev. Dr. John Hess


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