Friday, November 28, 2008

They Are Born and They Die

A portion of a letter by Martin Luther to his friend, Philip Melanchthon, December, 1535. He wrote to tell him that he should not be deterred from returning to Wittenberg by rumors concerning the plague.

We expect your return, and should a rumor reach you, then endure and overcome it. We hope that, even if there should be any future cases of contagious disease [around here], we will nevertheless have clean air (instead of this Scythian sky). Were it the plague, it would need other symptoms. Everywhere on earth people are mortal; they are born and they die. We cannot all remain alive here on earth, otherwise we will not get yonder.

Luther's Works, Letters III, Vol. 50, #266, edited by J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald and H. T. Lehmann, Fortress Press.

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