An anonymous editor tells the reader that the following account of a man's adventures is more amazing than any account currently published and so is worth making public. The editor says that the story is entirely true, offers a useful example for others to learn by, and justifies "the wisdom of Providence in all the variety of our circumstances." He says it will be both educational and entertaining.
The editor presents Robinson's tale as an educational example for the reader offering moral improvement, not unlike the forms of advice that Robinson himself will continually reject. Specifically, the editor emphasizes how Robinson's story displays the workings of divine providence.