PxPixel
University Archives

Lot 301

Previous image preload Next image preload

Description:

Sir Isaac Newton Highly Important Manuscript on God & Creation, 4p. or Almost 2,300 Words in his Hand! 

NEWTON, ISAAC. 1642-1726/7.  Autograph Manuscript in English, exploring the nature of God, 4 pp., bifolium, 7.25" x 11.75", ink on paper with margins ruled in ink for further notation, c.1710, approximately 2260 words, extensively reworked, underlined and amended, some splitting at fold.

Provenance: Isaac Newton; Catherine Barton (1679–1739); by descent, sold Sotheby's, July 1936, (partial) lot 255, as part of the Portsmouth Papers, to bookseller Emmanuel Fabius.

"IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD...." A HIGHLY IMPORTANT NEWTON MANUSCRIPT ON GOD AND CREATION. Working at the highest level of metaphysics, and looking to the Gospel of John, Newton contemplates the Divine Word at the core of Creation, inquiring both into its pre-existence and into its immanence ("incarnation"), drawing mystical parallels from the Kabbalah and other sources.

Newton deemed his theological studies "a duty of the greatest moment," and this extraordinary manuscript shows Newton at his most "dutiful" – exploring a cornerstone text of Christian thought, John 1:1-5, seeking to determine how Christ can be said God. Balancing scholarship and philosophy, Newton begins by analyzing the views of Christ held by the earliest Christian sects (based on Epiphanius's Against Heresies, 4th-century) and seeks to connect them to the Kabbalistic doctrines of the Sephirot and of the Adam Kadmon ("Transcendent Man"). Affirming in the concluding paragraph that "this state of the primitive Church explains to us the true meaning of the beginning of the gospel of John," Newton proceeds to articulate his understanding of "In the beginning was the Word...," explicitly asserting his definition of God.

Written contemporaneously with his "General Scholium," added to the Principia in 1713, this manuscript casts valuable light on the conceptual foundations of Newton's physics. It has long been recognized that the Scholium articulates a theo-physical theory of the universe (God originating nature), and the present manuscripts offers Newton's direct testimony on the one New Testament text most central to his theo-physical theory of the Creation, John 1:1-5, consciously echoing Genesis 1:1-5 ("Let there be light..."). Highlighting the Creative Logos both ontologically and in its cosmic functioning, John 1:1-5 crucially links Newton's physics to his metaphysics -- pointing at the very essence of Nature.

This is the most significant Newton manuscript on theology to be offered at auction during the past 50 years – a spectacular example of Newton's penetrating genius at work. Illuminating Newton's personal view of God and His Word, this manuscript advances our understanding of the theo-physical underpinnings of the Principia. With nearly all of Newton's manuscripts now permanently in institutions, the present manuscript is one of the most important remaining in private hands.

This originally appeared in auction in Sotheby’s July of 1936 as part of the Portsmouth Papers and sold to Parisian Bookseller Emmanuel Fabius.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

WE PROVIDE IN-HOUSE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!

Online Payments Accepted

Accepted Forms of Payment

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer

Shipping

We do our own in-house worldwide shipping!

Applicable shipping and handling charges will be added to the invoice. We offer several shipping options, and remain one of the few auction houses who proudly provides professional in-house shipping as an option to our clients. All items will ship with signature required, and full insurance. Most items are sent via Federal Express, with P. O. Box addresses being sent through USPS. We insure through Berkley Asset Protection with rates of $.70 per $100 of value, among the lowest insurance rates in the industry. Our shipping department cameras document every package, both outgoing and incoming, for maximum security. In addition, we compare our shipping and handling rates against those of other auction houses, to ensure that our charges are among the lowest in the trade.

Upon winning your item(s), you will receive an invoice with our in-house shipping and handling fees included. ***We will ship to the address as it appears on your invoice, unless you inform us otherwise, immediately upon your receipt of invoice***

International shipments: In order to comply with our insurance provider, all international shipments will be sent via Fed Ex and customs paperwork will show a value of $1.00. International buyers should contact our office directly with any questions regarding this policy.

Third Party Shipping Option: If a third party shipper is preferred, the buyer is responsible for contacting them directly to make shipping arrangements. For your convenience, we have provided some recommended shippers. For your protection, we will require a signed release from you, confirming your authorization for us to release your lots to your specified third party Please copy and paste this following link into your browser: http://universityarchives.com/UserFiles/ShippingInfo.pdf. At that point, our responsibility and insurance coverage for your item(s) ceases. Items picked up by third party shippers are required to pay Connecticut sales tax. Items requiring third party shipping due to being oversized, fragile or bulky will be denoted in the item description.

Please see our full terms and conditions for names of suggested third party shippers.


After payment has been made in full, University Archives will ship your purchase within 5 business days following receipt of full payment for item.


Please remember that the buyer is responsible for all shipping costs from University Archives' offices in Westport, CT to the buyer's door. Please see full Terms and Conditions of Sale.

January 6, 2021, 10:30 AM EST

Westport, CT, US

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25.0% and any applicable taxes and shipping

View full terms and conditions

From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000