The work that Bishop Selwyn did in laying the foundations of the Church in New Zealand, and his views as to Church organization have special lessons to teach us in these days. It is to bring these lessons to the notice of those who are unable to study larger biographies that this short life has been written.
No one can write about Bishop Selwyn without expressing great indebtedness to the Rev. H. W. Tucker whose Memoir of the Bishop, founded on the letters and papers entrusted to him by the Bishop’s family, contains most of what can be known about him. In this little book I have freely used Mr. Tucker’s Memoir, indeed the book could not have been written without it. I have consulted many other books bearing on the history of New Zealand and Melanesia, but my object has been to write about Selwyn, and about New Zealand and Melanesia only so far as they concerned him. I have tried to show what manner of man he was by telling of what he did and said, and to let him reveal himself by his own words and by his letters, rather than to attempt to explain him in my own words. I cannot claim to have had access to any new material, I have only selected from what is already published that which will enable my readers to learn something of the life and work of a man of distinguished gifts and a great leader in the Church.