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The Mansion

The Mansion

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"The Mansion," a classic story by Henry van Dyke, is a wonderful book that sets forth the century-old ideals of kindness, sympathy, and self-sacrifice. The message on charity presented in this book reminds us of the true spirit of giving, making it a "must read" every Christmas right along with Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol. If every young person in the world were to grow into maturity believing in, and practicing, the ideals set forward in "The Mansion," much of sorrow would disappear; violence, civil disorder, and war would be almost impossible, and a new era would be ushered in. An example of the beautifully written prose in this book would be van Dyke's answer to the question "What Counts? That which is truly given; Only that good that is done for the love of doing it; Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought; Only those labors in which the sacrifice was greater than the reward. And only those gifts in which the giver forgets himself" This insight is the undergirding theme of "The Mansion," in which van Dyke managed to blend a wealth of knowledge on how we are able to grow from acts of charity, with an entertaining novel, all in a few pages.