From a letter written by the Welsh pastor, John Elias, to Thomas Owen, a prisoner in France, November, 1807:
I hope you do acknowledge the Lord’s hand in your affliction, and that you submit yourself under it, that you may be exalted in due time. I pray and hope that it may be for your good, and that you will come out of the furnace of affliction as gold purified in the fire: and then you will have to say as the Psalmist, ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted; before that, I went astray, but now I have kept thy word.’ It is true you went astray before this heavy trial; it is much better to be in a temporal prison in a foreign land, than to be in a backsliding state, and in captivity to lusts and Satan.
John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1844, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 1973, pp. 223-24.