David says: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment." Ps. 133 :1, 2. This precious ointment was the ointment described in Exodus 30, verge 22 and onward. It was used to anoint the priests to their holy office, and was a fragrant mixture. Jesus tells us that He is the "sweetsmelling savour" to the world, and the wise man says that the church is like the "precious ointment." David felt that the unity of the brethren in all respects was like the fragrant odor of this precious, holy anointing oil. Surely the unity of the various branches of work in the remnant church should also be a "savour of life unto life."
Too long'have evangelists ignored the important work of the colporteur. Many have failed to capitalize upon the work he does in searching out interested souls. To illustrate how much closer the union can be obtained, I shall relate a plan that an evangelist and a colporteur worked out in a Southern city.
The colporteur for many months had preceded the evangelist in his work. He had the names of hundreds of people who had purchased the book Bible Readings. To these were sent announcements of the evangelistic meeting to be held in a public school auditorium. After the evangelist checked the list of those who attended, against the colporteur's names, he found that only a very few had come. Next a card was prepared, called the Bible Readings Study Plan. With the colporteur, the evangelist called at the homes of the people who had purchased books, inviting them to enroll in the Bible readings study course.
The people of one locality were invited to meet at the home of one person with whom previous arrangements for this cottage Bible study course had been made. Community Bible study groups were established in many different sections of the city. Laymen or Bible instructors held the studies, and adapted them to the book Bible Readings, using the studies as nearly as possible as they are given in the book itself.
These people felt that they were greatly benefiting from the book they had purchased. They were invited to the series of meetings held in a central location by the evangelist. At the meeting laymen and conference workers greeted the people from their classes in various sections of the city, inviting them to return and encouraging them to interest their neighbors in the Bible-study plan. This plan was successful. It was found that the majority of those baptized were enrollees in the cottage meetings. These people invited into the class neighbors who did not possess a copy of Bible Readings, but who desired one. In this way the colporteur called back, kept in touch with his people, and sold more books. Some of these cottage meetings had as high as thirty people enrolled. Other books and helps were suggested, and eventually Spirit of prophecy books were sold.
I recognize that this plan will not work by itself. Considerable personal visiting and working has to be done to start the groups and keep them built up with a regular attendance.
Where the purchasers of the bboks are too scattered to make sectional meetings possible, the Bible-study plan is still used. The Bible instructor calls each week, takes a study from the book, and spends a half hour or so each week in these homes. We have found that consecrated lay workers can become a vital part of the evangelistic company, and in this way render great service and do an inestimable amount of good. Let us unite with the colporteur to win these souls who have been searched out.