"A theological professor used to say to his students, "Never fail in any service to have at least a word of comfort. No congregation, however small, ever assembles, but there is in it one person in sorrow, who will go away unhelped, if in scripture lesson, hymn or prayer, there is nothing to lift up a heavy heart."
"No book for devotional reading would be complete, however full of other lessons, if it contained nothing for those who are in sorrow. In this little volume special prominence is given to the ministry of comfort, in the hope that the book may make some hearts braver and stronger in the hard and painful ways of life. It is affectionately dedicated to those who are called to pass through trial."
James Russell Miller was a popular Christian author, Editorial Superintendent of the Presbyterian Board of Publication, and pastor of several churches in Pennsylvania and Illinois. He was the General field Agent for the United States Christian Commission, an organization established by the Young Men's Christian Association after the First Battle of Bull Run. Miller authored nearly 100 books and articles.