Isaac Newton On God

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), founder of Classical Physics and Infinitesimal Calculus

1.  At the end of his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (London, 1687) Newton wrote:

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.” (Newton 1687, Principia).

2.  “From His true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being; and from His other perfections, that He is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, His duration reaches from eternity to eternity; His presence from infinity to infinity; He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.” (Newton 1687, Principia; see also Caputo 2000, 88).

3.  “God made and governs the world invisibly, and has commanded us to love and worship him, and no other God; to honor our parents and masters, and love our neighbours as ourselves; and to be temperate, just, and peaceable, and to be merciful even to brute beasts. And by the same power by which he gave life at first to every species of animals, he is able to revive the dead, and has revived Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who has gone into the heavens to receive a kingdom, and prepare a place for us, and is next in dignity to God, and may be worshipped as the Lamb of God, and has sent the Holy Ghost to comfort us in his absence, and will at length return and reign over us.” (Newton, as cited in Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton by Sir David Brewster, Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, 354).

4.  “Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors.

Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped, (except in their bowels); and just two eyes, and no more, on either side of the face; and just two ears on either side of the head; and a nose with two holes; and either two forelegs, or two wings, or two arms on the shoulders, and two legs on the hips, and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivance of an Author?

Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom, and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside a hard transparent skin, and within transparent humours, with a crystalline lens in the middle, and a pupil before the lens, all of them so finely shaped and fitted for vision, that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light, and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures, after the most curious manner, to make use of it? These, and suchlike considerations, always have, and ever will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared. We are, therefore, to acknowledge one God, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the Creator of all things, most wise, most just, most good, most holy. We must love him, fear him, honour him, trust in him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments.” (Newton, as cited in Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton by Sir David Brewster, Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, 347-348).

5.  “And when you are convinced, be not ashamed to profess the truth. For otherwise you may become a stumbling block to others, and inherit the lot of those Rulers of the Jews who believed in Christ, but yet were afraid to confess him lest they should be put out of the Synagogue. Wherefore, when you are convinced, be not ashamed of the truth, but profess it openly and endeavor to convince your Brother also that you may inherit at the resurrection the promise made in Daniel 12:3, that ‘they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.’

And rejoice if you are counted worthy to suffer in your reputation or any other way for the sake of the Gospel, for then, ‘great is thy reward’!” (Newton, as cited in The Religion of Sir Isaac Newton, Frank E. Manuel – editor, London, Oxford University Press, 1974, 112).

6.  “The supreme God exists necessarily, and by the same necessity He exists always and everywhere.” (Newton 1687, Principia; see also Caputo 2000, 88).

7.  “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.” (Newton, as cited in Tiner 1975).

8.  “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” (Newton, as cited in Tiner 1975).

9.  “I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” (Newton, as cited in Morris 1982, 26).

Credit: Nobelists.net

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