The autobiography of John G. Paton contains everything necessary to make it a missionary classic. Born into a Christian family near Dumfries in 1824, Paton's early years were marked by a struggle against poverty. He was self-educated, and the training ground for his life's work was the slums of Glasgow where he laboured with success as a city missionary.
With 'the wail of the perishing heathen in the South Seas' continually sounding in his ears, he prepared himself to serve overseas and was ordained as a missionary to the New Hebrides in 1858. The difficulties that confronted Paton were accentuated by the sudden death of his wife and child within months of their arrival. Against the savagery and the superstition, despite the trials and the tragedies, Paton persevered and witnessed the triumph of the gospel in two of these South Sea islands.
"What sustained John Paton in his missionary zeal?... Only a zeal for the true and living God to receive his due, to receive the glory and commitment in a local church."? - Allen M. Baker