Friday, May 31, 2013

The Unknown Wrestler  -  1918
Hiram Alfred Cody
250 pages
genre  - Inspirational Fiction
my rating  - 4 out of 5 stars

Douglas Stanton has worked as a curate in the city now for two years, focusing his efforts on the poor and needy.  But he is fed up with the hypocrisy and bureaucracy from his leaders, and is ready to quit.  In a final meeting with the rector, Douglas is told about the troubled parish of Rixton.  It has not had a clergyman for some time now.  They want Douglas to go serve there.

Douglas decides to arrive in the parish of Rixton disguised as a farm hand, to see what kind of difficulty the area is having, and what would be the best way to help the people there.  And boy, does he find out quick!

The author did a good job of making the characters come to life.  And it was easy to tell that the author was a clergyman himself.  There were a few times where the author couldn't help inserting a sermon into the story:

"...take a page from the life of the little bee.  People as a rule think that it gets honey right from the flower.  They are mistaken.  All it gets is a little sweet water.  But it takes that water, retires, adds something to it from itself, and by a process of its own makes it into honey...go to the Bible as the bee to the flower, and 'read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest'. Thus, through a process of his own, he is to bring forth the real spiritual honey..."

About the author  - 

Hiram Alfred Cody was born 3 July, 1872, in Codys, New Brunswick, Canada.   He was the only son of Loretta and George Redmond Cody.  For his early education, Cody attended a one-room schoolhouse in Thornetown.  After taking Latin lessons from the rector of the Parish Church at English Settlement, Cody became enamored of what the church had to offer.

Cody was ordained deacon at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, NB. As a young Anglican priest, he responded to a call from the Yukon to minister to natives at Whitehorse. Shortly after his marriage to Jessie M. Flewelling, the couple arrived in Whitehorse in the fall of 1904. In 1909, Cody and his wife returned to Saint John, where he preached in St. James’ Church. He spent thirty-three years in the church.

 In 1942, Cody retired from the ministry and started to write his autobiography. He never got to finish it because of a stroke in 1948. The following lines sum up his life: “My ideal of life as a boy was one of adventure in which a married man and a clergyman had no part. I have long since found out my mistake, for I have learned by experience that married life, as well as the ministry, will supply adventures sufficient for one lifetime.”

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