Poor little boy!
(Letters of John Newton)
My Dear Sir,
Poor little boy! It is mercy indeed that he recovered from such a formidable injury. The Lord wounded — and the Lord healed.
I ascribe, what the world calls accident — to Him. I believe that without His permission, and for wise and good ends — a child can no more pull a bowl of boiling water on itself, than it could pull the moon out of its orbit!
And why does He permit such things? One or two reasons is sufficient for us. God allows trials to remind us of the uncertainty of life and all creature-comforts; to make us afraid of cleaving too closely to pretty toys, which are so precarious, that often while we look at them they vanish; and to lead us to a more entire dependence upon Himself — that we might never judge ourselves or our concerns safe from outward appearances only; but that the Lord is our keeper, and were not His eye upon us, a thousand dangers and painful changes, which we can neither foresee nor prevent, are lurking about us at every step, ready to break in upon us every hour.
"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:10-11