The work of compiling this biography has been one of peculiar pleasure to the writer. His own affection and veneration for his noble father have been greatly intensified by the close study of this admirable character. There was a certain degree of hesitation in undertaking the work, and considerable embarrassment during its progress, for fear that the partiality of the son would overdraw the admirable traits of the father. Because of this embarrassment the author has, in many instances, simply incorporated documents and opinions from others without comment, feeling satisfied that this evidence would speak in sufficiently forcible language. Dr. Mell was so often thrown into controversy with his brethren in discussing great questions of religious and secular importance that it has been difficult to avoid personal allusions. It is hoped these may not be misconstrued and open anew long buried unpleasant differences which time and circumstances have healed and reconciled.
Another difficulty in the way of the writer has been the proper selection of what should go into the book among so much that is interesting and valuable.
The life portrayed in these pages was varied and active. This man was distinguished as a preacher of the Gospel, an educator, an author and a parliamentarian, and much of interest could be written of him in each of these fields of labor.
This book is now given to the public with the hope that it may receive the approval of the friends and admirers of Dr. Mell. And perhaps some young man struggling with poverty, and endeavoring to rise in spite of adverse surroundings, may derive lasting encouragement from these pages; and be stimulated to follow the example of this noble Christian.
He died in the evening of his days and his last strength was given to his Fathers work; like Paul, he could say, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
P. H. MELL, JR.