Catalogue Entry: NATP00056

'General Scholium' from the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1729)

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, vol. 2 (London: 1729).

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]

[1] Dr. Pocock derives the Latin word Deus from the Arabic du, (in the oblique case di,) which signifies Lord. And in this sense Princes are called Gods, Psalms lxxxii. ver. 6. and John x. ver. 35. And Moses is called a God to his brother Aaron, and a God to Pharaoh (Exodus iv. ver. 16. and vii. ver. 8. And in the same sense the souls of dead Princes were formerly, by the Heathens, called gods, but falsly, because of their want of dominion.

[2] This was the opinion of the Ancients. so Pythagoras in Cicero de NaturaDeorum lib. i. Thales, Anaxogoras, Virgil, Georg. lib. iv. ver.220. and Æneid. lib. vi. ver. 721. Philo Allegory at the beginning of lib. i. Aratus in his Phænom at the beginning. So also the sacred Writers, as St. Paul, Acts xvii. ver. 27, 28. St. John's Gospel chap. xiv. ver. 2. Moses in Deuteronomy iv. ver. 39. and Σ. ver. 14. David, Psal. cxxix. ver. 7, 8, 9. Solomon, 1 Kings viii. ver. 27. Job xvii. ver. 12, 13, 14. Jeremiah xxiii. ver. 23, 24. The Idolaters supposed the Sun, Moon and Stars, the Souls of Men, and other parts of the world, to be parts of the supreme God, and therefore to be worshipped; but erroneously.

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC