Balfour’s Speech on Uniting Mankind
American religious leader Robert E. Speer tells the following about British statesman Arthur Balfour, one-time prime minister, foreign secretary attending the Paris Peace Conference, representative to the League of Nations and delegate to the Washington Disarmament Conference: “Professor Lang went to a lecture in McEwen Hall, Edinburgh University, given by the great statesman, Arthur Balfour, upon the topic, ‘The Moral Values Which Unite Mankind.’ He noted a Japanese student of the university in a seat opposite him assiduously taking notes. Mr. Balfour gave a masterly presentation of the different ties which bind together the peoples of the world: common knowledge, commerce, and the rest. He sat down amid a great outburst of applause. After a moment of silence the chairman, after the Scottish fashion, arose to make a little speech of appreciation of his own. But before he could say a word, the Japanese student rose, leaned over the balcony, and called out in a clear voice, ‘But, Mr. Balfour, what about Jesus Christ?’ You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone realized the justice of the rebuke. A leading statesman of the greatest Christian empire in the world had not said a word about the one fundamental and essential bond which must unite mankind. A Japanese student from a faraway non-Christian land had to remind them with the question, ‘But, Mr. Balfour, what about Jesus Christ?’”—Treasury of the Christian Faith.