A sad interest attaches to this little book. Although published after his death, and therefore deprived of his final revision, it was not the last work which Dr. Robert Brown did. His manuscript was actually completed many months ago, but at his own request it was returned to him to receive a last careful overhaul at his hands. This revision had been practically finished, and the MS. lay ready uppermost among the papers in his desk, where it was found after his death. Dr. Brown died on the morning of the 26th of October, 1895, working almost to his last hour. Before the leader he had written for the Standard on the evening of the 25th had come under the eyes of its readers, the hand that had penned it was cold in death. Between the evening and the morning he went home. He was only fifty-three, but "a righteous man, though he die before his time, shall be at rest."
And in one sense Dr. Brown needed rest—ay, even this last and sweetest rest of all. His life had been one of unremitting work—work well done, which the busy, hurrying world mostly heeded not, knowing naught of the hand that did it. Some twenty years ago, when I first knew him, he was a fair, stalwart Northerner, full of vigour, mirthful also, and apparently looking out on the voyage of life with the confident, joyous eye of one who felt he had strength within him to conquer.