This book is not a history. If its scope and connecting links appear to give it somewhat of that character, it is but very partially, and only incidentally. The book purports simply to be the Life of a godly and useful man. The writer's inducements to publish it were, First, That a large circle of relatives and friends might have preserved to them in permanent form authentic reminiscences of one they honoured and loved; Secondly, That the story of his labours might serve in some degree to encourage and stimulate the succeeding race of toilers in the same service; and, Thirdly, That as the biography would afford glimpses of the formative age of the Christian Church in the Southern World, - its peculiar trials and signal triumphs, - it might awaken or revive the missionary spirit, both in England and Australia, where Christian sympathies and benevolence are unduly restricted by local claims.
Special acknowledgments are thankfully made to the Rev. James Buller, to whose correspondence the biographer is indebted for portions of the material from which the chapters on New Zealand have been prepared.