Newton Did Believe in God, a Divine Essay

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Newton did believe in God, a divine being, whom he cited as the keeper of balance in the universe. In his Principia, he states that "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent 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 won't to be called "Lord God" (Newton 42). He continues with a listing of the characteristics of this God: "The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect" (Newton 42). Newton had, in fact, been born into an Anglican family -- but he had also come to maturity during the Age of Enlightenment, which was primarily naturalistic in its worldview. Newton's beliefs in God were similar to those of the Deists. They did not make Newton a Christian in the Orthodox sense by any means. He viewed belief in Christ as idolatry and saw the Scriptures of the New Testament, including the Gospel of Mark as having been "corrupted to support trinitarianism" (Westfall 122) -- or, the belief in a Triune, Three-Person God, of which Jesus Christ the Son was the Second Person. Newton did not accept Jesus Christ to be God, in spite of what Mark states in the Gospel: "Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: 'This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!'" (Mark 9:7). Newton's religious ideas were informed both by Protestant theology and by naturalistic philosophy, both of which tended away from orthodox teachings concerning Christianity, as they had existed throughout the middle ages.

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In his Principia Newton describes "gravity" as the force that operates throughout the universe. He was not exactly a heliocentrist in the sense that the Sun was the fixed center of the universe but rather that the Sun, Earth and Planets together united by gravity formed the center of the…

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Works Cited

Newton, Isaac. Principia. NY: Library of Classics, 1953.

Westfall, Richard. The Life of Isaac Newton. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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