I was revisiting a passage from B.H. Streeter this week whose The Four Gospels: A Study of the Origins (London: Macmillan, 1924) is a classic in the field of New Testament textual criticism. For some reason, I never noticed that in my personal copy there is a newspaper clipping from 1937 concerning Streeter's death. According to this newspaper (apparently from Basle, Switzerland), Streeter "was killed yesterday when a Berne-Basle passenger plane in which he was traveling struck a fog-obscured mountain near here. He was 63. Mrs. Streeter and the pilot of the plane were also killed." I did not know the cause of Streeter's death, nor did I know that he was Provost of Queen's College, Oxford. The clipping goes on to quote parts of a letter that Streeter wrote to Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman (in image above, alongside Streeter and his wife), founder of the Oxford Group. These extracts are interesting since they highlight Streeter's extensive travel and his care for world affairs. Here are the two extracts from the letter followed by the newspaper clipping from my copy of Streeter's Four Gospels:
"All my life I have been interested in world affairs, and have made use of the opportunities for travel in Europe which vacation time afford to an Oxford don; and I have visited India, China and Japan. I was at the institute of Pacific Relations Conference at Kyoto in 1929, and was again in Japan on a lecture tour two years later when war broke out in Manchuria; and I have been to America both before and after the great slump. The more I have seen of the trend of things, the less grounds I have had for hope. I was one of those who expected much from the Leauge of Nations and from the various projects stated since the war for dealing with economic conflict and social reform. These things are failing humanity, not from any imperfection in the machinery, but from the lack of sufficient good will in the mass of mankind and in their leaders, to make such machinery work."
"History shows that in the case of wars, revolutions, strikes and other major conflicts, a relatively small weight of public opinion on the one side or the other, or the presence or absence of moral insight and courage in a few individuals in possession of influence, has often turned the balance between a reasonable settlement and a fight to the finish. Modern civilization can only be served by a moral revival; but for this it would suffice if every tenth or every hundredth was changed. For each such person raises the level of those whom he touches in the home, in business and in publi affairs. What I saw happening in Denmark can happen in Britain. It will happen, if those who lead Britain learn to find in God their inspiration and direction. And Britain, thus led, would save the world. But the opportunity must be seized during the period of uneasy respite from major calamity which at the moment appears to lie ahead."