This book is about friendships. The author draws on examples from figures in church history, primarily Andrew Fuller and John Ryland. I was fascinated to read the first chapter which covers a brief history of friendship in the West from antiquity to the age of reason, covering some biblical material. I think you need some grasp of church history to benefit fully from this book, however the author does explain who his main characters are and a little about the controversies they encountered. As you would expect from a theologian engaged in church history, Michael Haykin is meticulous about dates, places and the theological concerns of the day.
It is not a book to be read in one sitting, rather something to be studied. Reading it, you can’t help but draw the conclusion that many believers in the past were much more concerned for the spiritual welfare of their friends and colleagues than ever we are in our contemporary society.