Here’s an intriguing biography of a 19th century Scottish missionary, Alexander Somerville. The following passage is illustrative of the visitation evangelism promoted in the Church of Scotland and also performed by his colleagues, the Bonar brothers and Robert Murray M’Cheyne:
The Students’ Missionary Society, founded by John Wilson of Bombay, continued to meet every Saturday morning of the session; and the meeting for prayer, in which none were more earnest than the three friends. They were impelled by the spiritual instincts of the new nature to work for Christ as well as to worship Him, and founded a Visiting Society for the poor and churchless of the High Street, from the Castle Hill to Canongate and Holyrood. Here Somerville first began home missions, but in a way which other earnest students would do well to imitate. ‘Our rule was,’ writes Dr. A. Bonar, ‘not to subtract anything from our times of study, but to devote to this work an occasional hour in the intervals between different classes, or an hour that might otherwise have been given to recreation. All of us felt the work to be trying to the flesh at the outset, but none ever repented of persevering in it.’ So thorough was Alexander Somerville in the visitation that he kept a book in which, on a page given to each of forty-seven families or persons, he recorded the date of each visit, the passage of Scripture read, the subject of his talk, and the apparent results” (George Smith, A Modern Apostle: Alexander N. Somerville, D.D. 1813-1889, London, 1891, pp. 13-14).
Now here’s some hands-on practical theology for zealous seminarians!