Sir Isaac Newton & the Bible
The same year Galileo died, Sir Isaac Newton was born, December 25, 1642.
His mother was widowed twice, resulting in him being raised by his grandmother.
He was sent off to grammar school and later went to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1661.
Contemporaries of Newton were:
Edmund Halley, English astronomer - "Halley's Comet";
Robert Boyle, English chemist;
Christopher Wren, English architect;
Blaise Pascal, French mathematician;
Montesquieu, French philosopher;
King Louis XIV, Sun King of France;
Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer;
Rembrandt, Dutch painter;
Abel Tasman, Dutch navigator - "Tasmania";
John Bunyan, English Baptist author;
Cotton Mather, Puritan Massachusetts leader;
William Penn, Quaker Pennsylvania founder; and
Edward Teach - the pirate "Blackbeard."
Isaac Newton lived during time England was ruled by:
English Civil War, 1642-1651;
beheading of Charles I, 1649;
English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell, 1649-1658;
Richard Cromwell, 1658-1659;
Charles II, 1660-1685;
James II, 1685-1688;
William and Mary, 1689-1702;
Queen Anne, 1702-1714;
George I, 1714-1727.
Newton became a renown mathematician and a natural philosopher, discovering the laws of universal gravitation and formulating the three laws of motion, which aided in advancement of the discipline of dynamics.
Newton was a discoverer of calculus and helped develop it into a comprehensive branch of mathematics.
The Great Plague of London 1665-1666 killed over 100,000 people, a quarter of the city's population, in just 18 months.
The bubonic plague was spread through the bite of an infected rat flea.
During the plague, Newton moved out of London to rural Woolsthorp in Lincolnshire.
His assistant at the Royal Mint, John Conduitt, who was husband to his niece, wrote:
"In the year 1666, Newton retired again from Cambridge to his mother in Lincolnshire.
Whilst he was pensively meandering in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from Earth, but that this power must extend much further than was usually thought.
'Why not as high as the Moon' said he to himself & if so, that must influence her motion & perhaps retain her orbit, whereupon he fell a calculating what would be the effect of that supposition."
The Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life, written by William Stukeley, contained a similar story:
"Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to himself; occasioned by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood.
Why should it not go sideways, or upwards? But constantly to the Earth's center? Assuredly the reason is, that the Earth draws it.
There must be a drawing power in matter. And the sum of the drawing power in the matter of the Earth must be in the Earth's center, not in any side of the Earth.
Therefore does this apple fall perpendicularly or towards the center? If matter thus draws matter; it must be proportion of its quantity. Therefore the apple draws the Earth, as well as the Earth draws the apple.'"
Newton was honored to occupy the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, 1669, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1672.
Newton was given the position of Master of the Mint, 1699, and in 1701, entered Parliament.
He constructed one of the first practical reflecting telescope.
Using a prism, Newton demonstrated that a beam of light contained all the colors of the rainbow.
He laid the foundation for the great law of energy conservation and developed the particle theory of light propagation.
In 1703, Sir Issac Newton became the President of the Royal Society, and served in that position until his death.
Newton wrote one of the most important scientific books ever, Principia, 1687, in which he stated:
"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being ...
All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the 'Lord God' ...
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' ...
The supreme God exists necessarily, and by the same necessity He exists always and everywhere."
Newton wrote in the last query of Optics, or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light (1704, London, 1730, 4th edition, quoted in Sullivan, p.125-126):
"Now by the help of these principles, all material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles, above-mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent agent.
For it became him who created them to set them in order.
And if he did so, it's unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages."
Newton wrote in Principia, 1687:
"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 was quoted 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):
"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 neighbors 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 worshiped 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."
Sir Isaac Newton wrote in Optics, 1704:
"God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them."
Sir Isaac Newton devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science (as cited in Tiner 1975):
"I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily."
"We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever ...
Worshiping God and the Lamb in the temple: God, for his benefaction in creating all things, and the Lamb, for his benefaction in redeeming us with his blood."
Captivated by Bible prophecy, Newton wrote Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (published in 1733), in which he stated:
"Daniel was in the greatest credit amongst the Jews, till the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
And to reject his prophecies, is to reject the Christian religion.
For this religion is founded upon his prophecy concerning the Messiah."
He concluded his introductory chapter:
"Daniel is most distinct in order of time, and easiest to be understood, and therefore in those things which relate to the last times, he must be made the key to the rest."
In his Preface to The Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse (Published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton quoted a letter to Richard Bentley, dated December 10, 1692:
"When I wrote my treatise about our System I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose."
Sir Isaac Newton wrote in Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (published 1733):
"The Book of Revelation exhibits to us the same peculiarities as that of Nature ...
The history of the Fall of Man -- of the introduction of moral and physical evil, the prediction of the Messiah, the actual advent of our Savior, His instructions, His miracles, His death, His resurrection, and the subsequent propagation of His religion by the unlettered fishermen of Galilee, are each a stumbling-block to the wisdom of this world ...
But through the system of revealed truth which this Book contains is, like that of the universe, concealed from common observation, yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin, and developed in all its order and beauty the great plan of human restoration."
In Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton wrote:
"The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this Prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets.
By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt.
The design of God was much otherwise.
He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men's curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world.
For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence."
In Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John (published 1733), Newton wrote:
"For the prophets and apostles have foretold that as Israel often revolted and brake the covenant, and upon repentance renewed it, so there should be a falling away among the Christians, soon after the days of the Apostles, and that in the latter days God would destroy the impenitent revolters, and make a new covenant with his people.
And the giving ear to the prophets is a fundamental character of the true church ...
For as the few and obscure Prophecies concerning Christ's first coming were for setting up the Christian religion, which all nations have since corrupted, so the many and clear Prophecies, concerning the things to be done at Christ's second coming, are not only for predicting but also for effecting a recovery and re-establishment of the long-lost truth, and setting up a kingdom wherein dwells righteousness.
The event will prove the Apocalypse, and this Prophecy, thus proved and understood, will open the old Prophets and all together will make known the true religion, and establish it ...
An angel must fly through the midst of heaven with the everlasting Gospel to preach to all nations, before Babylon falls, and the Son of man reaps his harvest." (referencing the Book of Revelation 14:6)
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy described Sir Isaac Newton:
"Newton himself was a student of Old Testament prophecies and believed in the Scriptures as inerrant guides."
In his book Chronology, Newton studied the sequence of historical events and inserted a geometric diagram of Solomon's Temple, giving the lengths of the Temple in relation to the measurement of time.
This was in accordance with the Renaissance view that the Temple was a microcosm of God's creation embodying the order of the universe.
Economist John Maynard Keynes purchased all of Newton's known manuscripts and personal notes at auction.
After studying them, John Maynard Keynes wrote of Newton:
"He regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty, just as he himself wrapped the discovery of calculus in a cryptogram ...
He looked on the whole universe and all that is in it as a riddle, as a secret which could be read by applying pure thought to certain evidence, certain mystic clues which God had laid about the world to allow a sort of philosopher's treasure hunt."
Newton (as cited in Tiner 1975):
"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 wrote in a "Short Scheme of the True Religion" (Sir David Brewster, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, p. 347-348):
"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, honor him, trust in him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments, and set time apart for his service, as we are directed in the Third and Fourth Commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3).
And these things we must not do to any mediators between him and us, but to him alone, that he may give his angels charge over us, who, being our fellow servants, are please with the worship which we give to their God.
And this is the first and the principle part of religion. This always was and always will be the religion of all God's people, from the beginning to the end of the world."
Sir Isaac Newton stated:
"There is one God, the Father, ever-living, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus ...
To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.
That is, we are to worship the Father alone as God Almighty, and Jesus alone as the Lord, the Messiah, the Great King, the Lamb of God who was slain, and hath redeemed us with His blood, and made us kings and priests."
Sir Isaac Newton died MARCH 20, 1727.
He stated (as cited in The Religion of Sir Isaac Newton, Frank E. Manuel, editor, London, Oxford University Press, 1974, p. 112):
"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'!"