Sir Isaac Newton Superb Important Autograph Manuscript: Heresy, Expounding Religious Views that Colored His Scientific Works Including Principia!
NEWTON, Isaac. Important Autograph Manuscript. Ca.1700-1710. In English. 1 folio page, 7.25" x 12"; Approximately 500 words of text, with textual emendations.
ISAAC NEWTON’S “HERESY.” Ever the independent thinker, Newton embraced an unorthodox view of Christianity from an early age -- rejecting the Trinitarian doctrine of the English Church that affirmed God and Christ to be co-equal and one in essence. Because such an anti-Trinitarian view was considered heresy by the Anglican Church – punishable by burning at the stake -- Newton kept his religious beliefs secret throughout his life.
This remarkable manuscript records Newton’s research into the 4th-century origins of the anti-Trinitarian viewpoint – the so-called “Arian heresy” -- at the heart of his own religious beliefs. Centering on the abstruse and thorny question of whether Christ the Son was “begotten” (or “unbegotten”) of God the Father, this manuscript combines philosophical and historical analysis to explore the meaning and implications of the question. The manuscript’s emendations clearly show it to be a work in process, and the text is perhaps a portion of Newton’s long-planned but never finished “History of the Church.”
Newton’s theological views did not exist in a vacuum divorced from his science. To the contrary, Newton’s theological views shaped his physics. This is clearly evident from the Principia, where Newton made the explicit point (in the Scholium General) of affirming the “LORD God” to have “dominion” over the universe. The Principia, however, did not “frame a hypothesis” about the actual effectuating cause of gravity within the world, and Newton devoted many years of effort and study investigating the nature of Christ – deeming his studies “a duty of the greatest moment” -- in the hope of illuminating “the active cause of gravity.” Because Newton’s theological manuscripts were kept secret both during his lifetime and for 200 years after his death, the academic study of Newton’s theology – and its fuller relationship to his physics – is still at an early stage of development, and manuscripts such as the present will undoubtedly be of critical relevance to future scholarship.
A KEY DOCUMENT FOR UNDERSTANDING NEWTON’S WORLDVIEW, The present manuscript is well representative of Newton’s genius. Evidencing the same logical and rigorous mind at work in Newton’s science, this manuscript superbly highlights Newton’s penetrating philosophic acumen. Almost all of Newton’s manuscripts are institutionalized, and only a very small number of significant manuscripts remain in private hands. The Present is a Rare Opportunity to acquire an important and substantial manuscript by One of Humanity’s Supreme Geniuses.
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.
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