"We are set in this world to be happy. We should not falter in our great task of happiness, nor move ever among our fellows with shadows on our face when we ought to have sunlight.
"We have a mission to others - to add to their cheer. This we cannot do unless we have first learned the lesson of cheerfulness ourselves. We cannot teach what we do not know. We cannot give what we do not have.
"In this little book a lesson is set for you, my reader. It may seem a hard lesson to learn; nevertheless, it is one you want to learn, and one you can learn, if you will surrender your life wholly to the great Teacher."
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.