From a sermon on 1 Timothy 3:16
It is a most noteworthy fact in the history of our faith, that Jesus is still preached among the nations, and the church labors to make Him known everywhere. What other religion spends so much energy in seeking converts?
If any of you were foolish enough to wish to become Jews, you would not be welcomed among the Jewish fraternity. No Israelite ever attempts to proselyte us to his opinions. It would be a novelty indeed to hear of Jewish missionaries sent out to convert the heathen from their superstitions, or to recover Christians from their errors. No; the Jew does not want us, he prefers to keep his heritage for himself and his heirs. How far different is it with the followers of Jesus, whose very watchword is “preach the gospel to every creature!” In the case of all other religions, the preaching to the Gentiles is absent.
I am not aware of any Muslim society for the conversion of the world to the prophet. I never saw in the streets of London a Buddhist, come from far, to convert the crowds of London to their doctrines; nor have I ever seen a Buddhist thrusting himself into the midst of peril to win the savage to his creed. Can any other faith than the Christian show me a man traversing alone the center of Africa, like Living- stone, or dwelling alone with Bushmen, as Moffat has done? The fact is that the spirit of false creeds is rather monopoly than extension; but as for the religion of Christ, it is expansive as the arch of heaven!
If I could, I would have all men saved. If it were possible, I would have every one of you partakers of Christ Jesus this very morning; and we would cheerfully lay down our lives if we could extend the kingdom of Jesus Christ to the utmost bounds of the earth. What is it that keeps up this incessant preaching of Christ? Nothing but the real force of our faith! O you heathens, if your religions are true, why do you not promulgate them? Gods of the heathen, if you are gods, why do you not command your worshippers to convert the nations to your allegiance? But, no, they confess the worthlessness of their system, in that these systems are not preached among the Gentiles, and have no vitality to secure their spread. When these religions do attempt to spread themselves, which is rare enough, how do they do it? Mohammed put a scimitar into the hand of each one of his followers, and said, “That is the strength of Islamism: use that sharp argument upon the nations.” But Christ refused all carnal weapons, and chose the simple preaching of the Word. What other faith can dare to depend upon preaching—upon one man’s testimony to other men about truth precious to himself? Surely this goes to show that the things which we believe are powerful, and worthy to be considered with attentive respect.