In this rarely read fable, Van Dyke explores the meaning of charity and genuine goodness when it comes to leading a good religious life. John Weightman believed firmly in his proper accounting of life. But, on Christmas Eve, when his son rages against the wisdom of prospering at the cost of one's soul, John questions the laws that have guided him to money and influence. Van Dyke's exhortation against materialism rings as true now as it ever has, encouraging all readers to examine the meaning of their own lives.rn rn rn American author and clergyman HENRY VAN DYKE (1852-1933) was pastor of Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City from 1883 to 1899 and professor of English literature at Princeton University from 1899 to 1923. He wrote numerous books of poetry and devotion, including Little Rivers (1895), The Other Wise Man (1896), and Fisherman's Luck (1899).