The Story of the Other Wise Man
by Henry van Dyke
one by one, they left the house of Artaban. But Abgarus, the oldest
and the one who loved him the best, lingered after the
others had gone, and said, gravely: "My son, it may be that
the light of truth is in this sign that has appeared in the skies,
and then it will surely lead to the Prince and the mighty brightness.
Or it may be that it is only a shadow of the light, as Tigranes has
said, and then he who follows it will have a long pilgrimage and
a fruitless search. But it is better to follow even the shadow of
the best than to remain content with the worst. And those who would
see wonderful things must often be ready to travel alone. I am too
old for this journey, but my heart shall be a companion of thy pilgrimage
day and night, and I shall know the end of thy quest. Go in peace."
van Dyke, The
Story of the Other Wise Man (Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 1984)
van Dyke (1852–1933) American clergyman, educator, and author,
b. Germantown, Pa., grad. Princeton, 1873, and Princeton Theological
He was pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, New York City (1883–99),
professor of English literature at Princeton (1899–1923), and
U.S. minister to the Netherlands (1913–16). Among his popular
inspirational writings is the Christmas story The Other Wise
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001. "van Dyke,
Henry," 9 Nov. 2004 <http://www.bartleby.com/65/e-/E-vanDyke.html>.