Your poor little boy!
(Letters of John Newton)
July 4, 1777.
My dear Sir,
Your poor little boy! It is mercy indeed, that he recovered from such a severe burn. The Lord wounded--and the Lord healed. I ascribe what the world calls accidents--to Him, and believe, that without His permission, 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!
Why does God permit such things? He does these things--to remind us of the uncertainty of life and all creature-comforts; to make us afraid of cleaving too close to pretty toys, which are so precarious, that often while we look at them--they vanish; 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 every step, ready to break in upon us every hour!
"Men are but children of a larger growth." How many are laboring and planning in the pursuit of things, the outcome of which, if they obtain them, will be but like pulling scalding water upon their own heads! They must have the bowl by all means--but they are not aware what is in it--until they feel it!