Could It Happen Again?

AS WE look back, the era may strike us as quaint, even appealing. In the Western world, for example, it was a time of horse-drawn carriages, top hats, and long, trailing skirts. But it was also a terrifying time when death was on the march worldwide. The cause?

It was not war, although war was then raging. No, we are speaking of another scourge, one that has been called the most destructive in all recorded human history​—the Spanish flu, or influenza, of 1918-19.

Victims died en masse, for there was no effective treatment or cure. Millions of healthy young people were suddenly cut down during their most productive time of life. Corpses piled up faster than they could be buried. In some places entire towns and villages were wiped out.

All this took place some 85 years ago. Do we know what caused that disease? Could a calamity like that occur again? If it did, could we protect ourselves?

There is another fascinating aspect of this subject. Did you know that the Bible long ago had something to say about the pestilences we have seen in our own era? (Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:8) Was the Spanish flu part of a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? The answers to this and other questions will be discussed in the following articles.

[Picture on page 3]

Preparing to bury Spanish-flu victims, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

[Credit Line]

Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia