Had this great & good man lived in an age when inven those superiour Genij inventors were Deified or in a country where mortals are canonized he would have had a better claim to those honours than those they have hitherto been ascribed to, his virtues proved him a Saint & his discoveries might well pass for miracles —

1 When wee consider his talents his virtues Even wee that knew him can hardly think of him without a sort of superstition wch even \demands {all}/ our reason to check – nor forbear saying with the Marquis de l'Hospital was Newton a man? Thus far surely wee may say that had he lived in an age &c —


It is a policy in the Roman Church to canonize none till they have been dead 100 years that there may be no living witnesses of their imperfections – it is a happy circumstance that whilst I am writing this many are alive who \knew him/ |&| can bear witness of Sr Isaac's extraordinary virtues – Burnett said he had the whitest soal {sic} he ever knew for posterity will hardly believe so many virtues & no vices could exist in any man — mortal

© 2022 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