HERETOFORE this has not been successful to any considerable extent; but the friends of the truth will be glad to read the following interesting account of Brother Houston's two weeks' trip. It shows what can be done by the use of the right methods. We hope others will take courage and try it, if only for a week or two.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I was out a fortnight colporteuring, just as an experiment, and I liked it well. I got on splendidly. I took a return ticket to Edinburgh, with liberty to stop at every station. I took the 8 A.M. train to Helmsdale. At the first house I got an order for Vol. I. I called at every house up one side of the street and down the other, also hailing men who might be standing in little groups. I got orders for 35 volumes. Strange to say, the first order I took was cancelled, as well as some more, but in delivering I made some further sales, and so made up for all that were cancelled.
I left Helmsdale next morning for Brora, where I sold and delivered about the same quantity. I had to stay here over the Sabbath. Was called upon by the Y.M.C.A. to take their meeting (a public one) on Sabbath night, and the Lord helped me to declare very fully the glorious gospelwith which they all seemed refreshed. A few of the leaders came with me to my lodging, to whom I declared more freely the truth of God.
On Monday morning I left for Golspie, where I sold and delivered about 60 vols. About one-fourth of those who bought took all three volumes, which helped up the sales wonderfully. Golspie is one long street, very easy to work. I took the orders the one day and delivered them the next. Here my No. I books ran out, and not having any more I passed on to Inverness, as I did not wish to canvass towns near by until I would have the books to deliver. In this work above all works, I find it is true, that "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."
I started again at Buckie and thoroughly canvassed every house. Buckie is a very dead sort of place, about half of the population being Roman Catholics; hence the spiritual and mental deadness. Got about three dozen orders. Next day I went to Cullen, a very bright little town, where I got about forty orders.
I passed on to Aberdeen, where I knew a commercial gentleman to whom I had loaned Vol. I. At his house I met a few friends, one from London, a notable evolutionist. We entered into friendly debate and very soon got into the thick of all the great questions of the day. From the knowledge of the "Plan of the Ages," I was enabled not only to confute the wrong theories, but to point out the true, and introduce M.D., all of which helped to confirm my commercial friend and his wife in the truth. Left Aberdeen next morning for Edinburgh, saw the friends there. Passed on to Glasgow and saw a number of friends there.
Left Glasgow again on Monday and came back to Edinburgh. Began with Brother Montgomery to try what could be done there. For the day we got ten orders. Brother Montgomery was well pleased; he sold fully more than I did, and this gave him confidence. He is to spend one day in the week canvassing systematically over Edinburgh. Mr. Ballingall, an excellent young man, is to help him. Although large towns are stiffer, one gets over the ground easily, and you come in contact with a number of precious souls in a very short space of time; and a tract or a word of truth might get in and do good eventually.
Next day I left for Perth. Was very tired and done up, but called upon a number of booksellers to see if they had ever seen or heard of that book (pointing out No. I), but not one of them had ever heard of it. I had not much time, but got a few orders. From Perth I started for home, and found every thing getting on very well. My average during the trip was 30 volumes per day.