“The aim of the present volume is to give a co-ordinated and coherent view of the “forest” rather than to describe in detail each particular “tree.” The student may then, as his leisure permits, and his tastes impel, study for himself the histories of the separate trees, bushes, thickets, and so on, which, collectively, make up the gigantic forest of lives which populate the amazing world, or rather series of worlds, in which we have our being and evolve.
“The work is planned in three main sections. First, the field, in which evolution takes place, is described. This involves a study of the various globes, their successive periods of activity and obscuration, the chains, and schemes of evolution. It is the formside of our subject, a description of the places where life evolves. The second section deals with the various streams of life which are poured into the prepared field, and the method by which those streams steadily evolve and pass through the various stages or levels of attainment or growth. These processes are here dealt with in, broad outline only, giving the student a bird’s-eye view of the whole stately march of events.
“The third section describes in much more detail the progress of the component parts of certain of the kingdoms of life, more especially the human races and sub-races. In this section, however, as already stated, full elaboration of detail is avoided, the object being, not so much to give the student an encyclopedic mass of information, as to enable him to perceive and understand the principles determining the mighty plan in obedience to which everything is ordered in this superbly ordered universe, in which “not a sparrow falls on the ground” save by the will of the Father of the System to which we have the honour to belong.” (Lieut.-Col. Arthur E. Powell)