Saturday, November 24, 2012

WILLIAM WHISTON ON SIR ISAAC NEWTON AND THE TRINITY


WILLIAM WHISTON (circa. 1667-1752 C.E.): “...Sir I.N. [i.e. Isaac Newton] was one who early and throughly had examined the System and Records of Christianity, abating perhaps the Apostolical Constitutions, and Ignatius's larger Epistles, which seem to have been little looked into by him: as, till I published those Constitutions, and vindicated those larger Epistles, they were no more looked [1077.] into by the present Lord Chancellor in his early and accurate Enquiries into Primitive Christianity. In particular, Sir I.N. was one who had throughly examined the State of the Church in its most critical Juncture, the fourth Century. HE HAD EARLY AND THROUGHLY DISCOVERED THAT THE OLD CHRISTIAN FAITH, CONCERNING THE TRINITY IN PARTICULAR, WAS THEN CHANGED; THAT WHAT HAS BEEN LONG CALLED ARIANISM IS NO OTHER THAN OLD UNCORRUPT CHRISTIANITY; AND THAT ATHANASIUS WAS THE GRAND AND THE VERY WICKED INSTRUMENT OF THAT CHANGE. THIS WAS OCCASIONALLY KNOWN TO THOSE FEW WHO WERE INTIMATE WITH HIM ALL ALONG; from whom, notwithstanding his prodigiously fearful, cautious, and suspicious Temper, he could not always conceal so important a Discovery. Nor need I now crave the Readers Belief of my Testimony in this Case. Sir I.N. has left not a few undeniable Testimonials of it behind him, Witness his MSS. Dissertations upon two of the famous New Testament Texts concern'd in that Controversy. 1 Tim. iii. 15, and 1 John v. 7. both whose present Readings he took to be Athanasian Interpolations...” - (Section 1076-1077, “Account of Newton,” On Pages 1070-1082, In: “A COLLECTION OF AUTHENTICK RECORDS,” By William Whiston, London: 1728. © 2012 THE NEWTON PROJECT.)

Is there any truth to this claim? Is there any evidence to show he was not exagerating?

Here's just a couple of examples:

SIR ISAAC NEWTON (circa. 1642-1727 C.E.): “...SON IS GOD – ( CREATED ) – AND A PERSON...” - (Ratione No. 6., Quoted on Page 159, “THE TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY OF DR. SAMUEL CLARKE (1675-1729): CONTEXT, SOURCES, AND CONTROVERSY.” By Thomas C. Pfizenmaier, Brill, 1997.)

SIR ISAAC NEWTON (circa. 1642-1727 C.E.): “...Now the term Gk., ( ὁ Λόγος ) before St. John wrote, was generally used in ye sense of the Platonists, when APPLIED TO AN INTELLIGENT BEING, & YE ARIANS UNDERSTOOD IT IN YE SAME SENSE [SIC], & THEREFORE THEIRS IS THE TRUE SENSE OF ST. JOHN...” - (Yahuda MS. 14., Quoted on Page 159, “THE TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY OF DR. SAMUEL CLARKE (1675-1729): CONTEXT, SOURCES, AND CONTROVERSY.” By Thomas C. Pfizenmaier, Brill, 1997.)

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