This passage (circa 1799) from London's Religious Tract Society gives a bracingly cheery view on medical afflictions. The document is called Pithy Papers on Singular Subjects. It says:

One man thinks that the sea separates distant countries from each other, but there are seafaring men who say that the ocean joins them. Now, this latter opinion, looking on the waters as a pathway for ships, is quite as correct, and a great deal more agreeable, than the former. Let us learn a lesson from the seafaring man, then, and regard the bright side of even our afflictions. Instead of considering sicknesses and diseases to be only so many painful visitations, let us try to regard them, also, as so many different roads to the golden gates of heaven.

This post originally appeared on Improbable Research.