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sults. Many will long remember him for his earnest and faithful pulpit ministrations; many for his faithful Christian labors, after disease had laid him aside from active life; many for his gentlemanly and Christian de portment as the proprietor of an extensive boarding house; and many no doubt will be the stars in his crown of rejoicing, in that day when God shall make up the number of his jewels.
REV. WILLIAM RYDER.*
"These are they which came out of great tribulation."
Religion never appears more lovely than when, as an angel of light, she waits on suffering humanity, soothing the sorrows, and calming the anguish of the afflicted one, by placing the cup of divine consolation in his hand, and pointing him to the blessed regions where sighing never comes. Some of the finest exhibitions of the divinity and power of Christianity with which the world has been favored, have been seen in its power to sustain the spirit, and inspire submission and hope, in the midst of severe, complicated, and protracted sufferings.
Rev. W. Ryder was emphatically a son of affliction, Some idea of what it pleased God to call him to pass through, may be derived from the following graphic, sketch by the author of the Superannuate.
* For a more full account of this extraordinary victim of disease, the reader is referred to his life, entitled the Superannuate, from which much cí this article is derived.
"A hard sabbath-day's labor, and a long ride on horseback, in a damp, heavy snow-storm, were, one year later, the precursors of a second appearance of those excruciating pains, that thenceforth entrenched themselves in the hips, and gradually extended their conquests until every part of the system, except the strongholds of life, acknowledged submission to their terrible sway. Severe as were these tortures, there were not, at this period, any outward signs of their existence, there was no swelling, no external inflammation; but in the difficult process of lying down or rising up, the joints,' to use the invalid's own language, 'would crack and snap as if breaking.' In a few weeks the affection passed, sympathetically, to the stomach and lungs, respiration became difficult, expectoration constant, attended with various symptoms of consumption. At a later period, the spine curved, the knees and hips bent, the neck stiffened, and an erect posture was no longer possible. Each of these localities was the seat of heavy throbbings and of pains, shooting, zig-zag, and radiating. The arms and shoulders next became victims, and the sensations were those of the criminal upon the rack when strong cords are cutting the flesh, and rending every limb from its socket; one arm was actually dislocated, and the other prevented only by a cruel counteracting force from sharing the fate of its fellow. The hips were filled with daggers,' and transient, fugitive pains and aches pursued each other across the breast and over the neck and arms, like the restless lightnings of a summer evening horizon. At times it seemed that a strong cord was twisted about his waist, above which the pains were darting and incessant, while below there was a sense of excessive fullness, hard throbbings, and dull, heavy aches. A year later, his spasms, previously occasional, became
general, passed into settled cramp, and frequent and severe convulsions. These were followed by an oppressive sense of heat,' as if the subject were stretched upon Guatimozin's bed of coals, or as if'ten thousand red-hot needles' were thrust into his flesh at once. It is impossible to conceive, far more to describe, by appropriate comparisons, the variety and virulence of the tortures he endured. Now, it seemed as if · a strong man was wringing him limb from limb,' and then as if a score of malignant spirits silently fastened upon his pained extremities, and, at a concerted signal, tweaked every nerve and muscle, with such violence as to extort from the sufferer a howl of anguish; now, he was
pierced with a thousand spears,' and now, the barbs of a thousand hooks,' connected with invisible weights, were inserted in his neck and scalp. In fine, the his. tory of the last ten or twelve years of his life, is a his. tory of pains and aches, of cramps, convulsions, and spasms, of twingings and writhings, of shivering agues, and roasting fevers; every limb is out of shape and rigid; the skin is tense and excessively tender to the touch; the joints are stiff, the places of the finger nails are supplied by calcareous deposits; the feet are dropsical and frightfully swelled, and every part is so sensi. tive to meteorological changes, that his feelings predict variations in the weather with scarcely less certainty and precision than the mercurial barometer. As the atmospherical pressure decreases in the change from fair weather to foul, the vessels in the vicinity of the principal joints seem ready to burst asunder, and there is an indescribable sensation of drawing apart;' but during the changes from foul to fair, when the air assumes its accustomed density, every limb suffers the torture of compression in a vice. If the affection was rheumatic in the outset, it became neuralgic in its pro
gress, and probably there is not a single vertebra in the spinal column but has, in its turn, felt like a spike driven into the flesh,' and left to rankle there. At times, his brain has been shivered, and his senses scattered, and he has given heed to nothing but his sufferings. Within the last three years, however, though his pains are constant and often severe, they have so far abated their primitive violence as to allow him once more to converse, read, and enjoy.
The disease appears to have expended its force, to have done its utmost, and to have left its maimed and crippled victim to be borne off the stage of life by some one of its fellow-panders to the appetite of insatiable death."
Such were the peculiar, and almost unparalleled sufferings of this servant of Jesus Christ, and yet grace superabounded. But let us not anticipate his history.
William Ryder was born in Holliston, Middlesex county, Mass., on the 27th day of June, 1805. His father was a member of the M. E. church. In his childhood, William, with his parents, removed to Fort Ann, Washington county, N. Y. A single incident of his childhood may not be out of place here. “Like other boys, he betrayed an early and excessive fondness for the water, and when unobserved would sit for hours on a low rock that projected into the stream above his father's mill. dam, with his little feet dangling in the water, of which the perpendicular depth was at least fifteen feet. To cure this dangerous propensity, his father one day sur. prised him in one of his aquatic excursions upon the banks of Miller's river, threw him into the middle of the stream, and, after repeated immersions, held him up, dripping and drowning, to see if the remedy were taking effect. Judge of his vexation when the little fellow, delighted with the process, gurgled out as well as he was able, 'Do so again, papa!"
His fearless courage manifested itself also, in his early days, in his pugilistic demonstrations upon his comrades. Neither in the service of Satan, nor of God, was he accustomed to tremble in the presence of his enemies.
When about twelve years old, William was apprenticed to a farmer in Kingsbury, N. Y., whom he served until he attained his majority. His early life was not such as to afford much promise of future usefulness. God, who is rich in mercy, brought him to see, and deplore, and forsake his sins. On the night of the 3d of April, 1824, after midnight, he was “ kneeling at his chest, reclined upon his elbow, his head resting upon his hand, with the old Bible spread out before him, upon the soiled pages of which a single untrimmed candle shed its flickering rays; weeping, praying and reading alternately, his eye fell upon the words, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world;' and soon after upon another passage which riveted his attention, * For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have everlasting life.' Despairing of succor from any other source, he made a final effort to behold the Lamb; to believe on the Only-Begotten; to surrender his own efforts and yield to be saved by grace. Faith prevailed; he was justified before God; his heart was regenerated and ‘strangely warmed;' the witness. ing spirit whispered, 'Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.' Two weeks afterward, he was received on probation in the Methodist Episcopal church.”
Then his heart became renewed by grace, he began at once to awake to a realization of the importance of intellectual improvement. The study of the Bible was immediately commenced in good earnest, and this served to awaken his taste for intellectual aliment, and to arouse his appetite for useful knowledge. Here he found