The 2 papers about the books of the Old Testament, and the time of writing the Revelations I take to be as curious as any part of the work and as much even necessary to be printed with the others. The first of these papers should I think be put by way of Introduction to the whole, only leaving out some of the last while which may relate in some measure to other imperfect papers not finisht by him as suppose it was ended in this manner ---------- & state of the Church in the last ages; as these are general heads of Religion and may be considered without undertaking to interpret the Prophesies. Where I understand him by interpreting to mean giving such a particular explanation as hereby to foretell things before {they} happen which he all along disclaims. I make no doubt {but} sr I. himself intended his introduction for his discourse on Daniel as h{e} did the second for an introduction to his discourse on the Apocalyps which are still in some sort distinct pieces, or 2 books of the same wo{rk} for as farr as the 10h Chapt Exclusively in the new copy and the 9h s{illeg} exclusively in the old relates to Daniel and all that follows either t{o} the Apocalypse singly or to the same as compared and having relation the old law or to the Prophecys particularly Daniel. I would therefore submit it to consideration, if it be not right to place the 1st pap{er} by way of introduction to the first chapter relating to Daniel only, the 2d by way of Introduction to the remaining sections relating to the Apoca{lypse} and which may therefore be called 2d book or 2d part. in whic{h} Case the general title might be Discourses or Observations on {the} Prophecys of Daniel & the Apocalypse of St Iohn. for the boo{k} itself I should be for making it as perfect as I could by se{c}tions out of the 2 Copys, in order referring as little as I could to an appendix. You may indeed give notice in the Margin when Chapters were not wrote {now} in the last Copy, but as it is to {be} printed it will surely give more satisfaction and better carry on the thread to have everything in its own place than broken to pieces, besides that the last copy is so far from being finisht that it seems to me more than probable Sr would have added to it in another place most if not all those <1v> chapters but one omitted in the last copy as we have it. here is not the least reason to think he had any ways altered his opinion about any material matters, but what he chiefly left out is what relates to the corruptions and innovations of the Roman Church, probably only cut out because he had no mind to enter into controversy with them but which cause is now entirely vanisht specially they being to be printed somewhere and it only doubted in what place: and surely they are some of the most curious parts of the whole I would therefore propose the following Scheme

Observations on the Prophecys of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St Iohn.
by Sr Isaac Newton.

Part I.
Of the Prophecys of Daniel

Chap. I.
Introduction concerning the Author of the books of the Old Testament.

Chap. II.
Of the Prophetic Language to be printed from the new Copy. p 1-3

Chap. III
Of the Vision of the Image composed of four Metals.
– from the New Copy p. 3-4.

Chap. IV Of the Vision of the four beasts.
New Copy. p. 5-6.


Chap. V
Of the Kingdoms represented by the feet of the Image composed of Iron and Clay.
New Copy 9-10

Chap. VI.
Of the ten kingdoms represented by the ten horns of the fourth Beast
New Copy. p. 11-18

Chap. VII.
Of the eleventh horn of Daniels fourth beast.
New Copy p. 19-23.

Chap. VIII.
Of the Power of the eleventh horn of Daniels 4th beast to change times & laws
Old Copy - p. 27-35

Chap. IX.
Of the Prophecy of the Ram and the Goat.
Old Copy 37-42.


Chap. X
Of the Prophecy of the seventy Weeks.
New Copy. p. -27. 28

Chap XI.
Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth
Old copy page 43-55.

Ch. XII.
Of the King who did according to his Will &c

Of the Mahuzims &c. these 2 ch. only in the first copy p. 53-66.

Part II
Of the Apocalypse of St Iohn.

Chap. I
Introduction concerning the time when the Apocalypse wa{s} writ.


Chap. II
Of the Relation which the Prophecy of Iohn hath to the book of the Law of Moses and to the Worship of God in his Temple

Chap III.
Of the Relation which the Prophecy of Iohn hath to those of Daniel; & of the subject of the Prophecy.
These 2 chapter from Old Copy p-64 to the end.

The 10h chapter in the new copy with the imperfect beginning of the II is an extract of part of those 2 last of the old copy, but as the outer was going on it is probable most of the things left out would have been put in therefore it is necessary they should be printed from the old which is more finisht, only it should be {rou}ghly compared with the new but if any particular one clearer expressed in the new such paragraphs may be put in in their place but they must not both be printed it being but the very same thing twice over. The most considerable {hump} I see in the second copy, is the first 20 lines of page 33. which gives a sort of general notice of what follows and which I would therefore insert instead of the 3 first of page 67. of the old after which the old is the fullest.

[Editorial Note 1]

ordered of time


Remarks upon the prophecies -

Sr I. says p. 2d of the copy last writt that horns on any head relate to the number of kingdoms in that head with respects to military powers p. 3. To reject Daniel's prophecies is to reject the Christian religion for this religion is founded on his prophecy concerning the Messiah

Sect. 4.th o in the copy first writt {constituted} of the power of the eleventh horn of Daniel's 4th to change times & laws) is entirely omitted, it shews the {rises} & extent of the Pope's Spiritual dominion & foretells when it shall be destroyed viz. in 1260 years from the year 800 – he says p. 35- that it was his temporal dominion made him one of the horns-- {E.M.d} is of opinion that was the reason why Sr I. left this chapter out because it relates only to his spiritual dominion-, but it seems to me that several parts of the prophecy of the 11th horn relate to this spiritual dominion- viz. eyes a month speaking great things, its look was more stout that its <3v> fellows - made war with the saints & prevailed against them - a king diverse from the first ten kings - speak great words against the most, high & wear out the saints & think to change times & laws & that they should be given into his hands for a time times & half a time - & Sr I. applies them all in a few words to the Pope as a spiritual Princes in p. 19 - of the last copy, & perhaps left out the chapter only because it imported the same at large - in the first copy he explains that the spiritual power of the Pope shall fall in 1260 years which is the only material point entirely omitted in the last - he hints the same in p. 77. of the first copy - & there applies all the spiritual parts of the prophecy to the Church of horns-bride as it is repeated again there may it not be proper therefore to print sect. 4. of the first copy in the appendix


C. 8. of the prophecy of the seventy weeks is only in the last copy & not in the first

C. 6. of the prophecy of the scripture of truth in the first copy is much {shorter} than . c. 9. on the same subjects in the last - the one is nine pages & the other but two & a half there seems to be no {other once} but only the last is an abridgement of the first

Chapter. 7. & 8. in the first copy are entirely omitted in the last they relate to the king who regarded not the desire of women i.e. the monks {practicing} abstinence from marriage, & honoured Mahuzzims 0 i.e. worshipped the dead - in the 8th Chapter is a very good account of the rise & prospects of the worship & invocation of Saints reliques - miracles &c -

Qu. Might not they follow as well at the end of the last copy which Sr. I. never finished & Sr I. {instead} to add <4v> them there for they seem to be too material to be entirely omitted, & not to be abridged & inserted in short in the last copy as the other chapters were which were omitted? Sect. X. in the new copy entitled of the Apocalypses of Iohn seems to be an abridgement of sect. 9. in the old copy entitled of the relation which the prophesy of Iohn hath to the book of the law of Moses & to the worship of God in the Temple - the new is only 5 pages & the old 7 - Memm. Dr Clarke is for printing, both one after another - the new first & then the old - Qu - wether the new should not be printed in the body & the old only in the Appendix. Sect. II. in the new (Entituled of opening the seals of the books which Daniel was commanded to seat up) is imperfect being carried only as far as a page & a half & contains nothing but what is in <5r> Sect. X of the old which it is an abridgement of - Mem.m Sect. X in the old which follows very well after sect. X in the new, & therefore sect. 9. of the old which is of the same import as sect X in the new may be printed in the appendix without breaking the connexion - as s Sect. 11 in the new is imperfect I am of Dr Clark's opinion that no part of it should be printed -

Mem.m p. 75 of sect. X of the old Sr I. N. says = the heads are seven successive kings four of them were the horsemen which appeared at the opening of the first four seals - which shews plainly he did not think Christ the 4th Horseman as Mead does - Then follows in the same page = the 4 horsemen are which explained by Mr Mead excepting that I had rather continue the third to the end of the reign of the 3 Gordians & <5v> Phillip the Arabian those being kings from the South & began the 4th with the reign of Decius &c. quod notu - which is a plain exception from {agreeing} with Mead who makes Christ the 4th & implies that he makes Decius the 4th & therefore it seems a question to me wether there be even any occasion for a marginal note by way of illustration -

Mem.m p. 80. of the first copy - it is said the Nicolaitans are the Continents above described who placed religion in abstinence from marriage, & they are only mentioned in c. 7. of the first which is entirely omitted in the last, & therefore unless that chapter be printed in the body of the work - a note must be put here to shew what above refers to <6r> according to the best judgement I can make at present - I think all the best copy should be printed by it self as far as p. 32 then I would insert sect. 7. & 8 from. p. 53. to 66 of the first because they are not abridged as the other omitted sections of the first are, & are referred to as above in that part of the first which follows where the last leaves off & notice may be taken by way of preface or by a marginal note that those two chapters were not on the last copy – I would then print the last as far as p. 38. & then from p 75 to 86. of the old, & add by way of appendix - sect. 4. of the first from p. 27. to p. 37 - & perhaps. sect. 5. from p. 37 to 52 - & from p. 67. to 74 –

pages.32.Appendix –10.
body –62 pagesThe Chronology was 105 pages

I believe the first copy concludes as Sr I. intended - for several older copies go no farther than that does & in one foul sheet he says after almost the same conclusion - The first plague which I think he makes synchronal to the trumpets | lasted about 12 years the second 21. the 3d 49- the 4th 160 - the 5.th 620 & according to this progression the sixth may last 7 or 800 years but it is not for us to know the times & seasons which God hath put into his own breast -

{In are} wether it might not be proper to print by way of preface an acct of the Apocalypse of the time of it's being writt - & an account of the books of the old Testament - and in the appendix - a larger part upon the 70 weeks - & a synchronic {acct} of the Apocalypse - but the later part of the account of the books of the old Testament seems not proper to be printed before the prophecies because it mentions- several tracts he intended to write some of which are not writt & concludes with saying they may be considered without undertaking to interpret the Prophecies but that difficulty may be removed by having out the last sixteen lines –


From pag. 1. to pag. 34 new [26 old] print the new.

Then interpose sect. IV of the old pag. 27. 35. omitted in the new –

Then go on with the new. p. 25. to 32. [on of old. p. 35.-52] Then interpose sect. 7. 8. of the old. p. 53-66.

Then go on with the new pag. 33. to 38. [& add the old p. 67.-74. Then go on with the old pag. 75. to the end. For the new is perfect no farther the Author then dying


of the Kingdoms & Churches the Subject of Prophesy 4 Empires. printed Ram & Hegoat. printed Ten Horns - printed Last Horn of the Beast Empire of the Greeks Empire of the Latins Empire of the Latins. much varies from what is printed & is as long again the king who did according to his Will. Mauzzims. printed. p. 194. Last Horn of the Hegoat printed. p. 118. Scripture of Truth. Relation of the Prophecy of Iohn to the Law of Moses Woman and Two horned Beast 2d Temple & Candlesticks represent the 2 Witnesses or loose sheets, first draughts.


The Introduction, if the Church was manifestly intended to be a preface to the Discourses in Daniel and should therefore be placed before them.

N.B. the Little horn was to root out three of the ten horns. see p. 11. & p 22. The principality or Dukedome of Rome.

Q The Ram and the Goat

Q The Seventy weeks.

I think the new should be printed together, as {something} the lost the {ages} &c – the old if comprised an appendix. Bp Sherlock

[Editorial Note 2]

Chapter first of prophetick Language. Little difference. Chap. 2d Image of four metalls. an addition. Chap: 3dLion had eagles wings. in the new the wings represent the two kingdoms which destroyed the Assyrian Empire. Q. wether according to {astrology}, the wings are not properly of the first kingdom itself, when it became the first kingdom? will not this make Babylon & Modin in their {cleared stand} the first de. and Nebuchadnezzarthe 2d &c. no: Nebuchad. was one {of the} wings but then the last part as being introduced - must be fulfilled partly by taking Babylon, partly by Cyrus I conquering the Medes therefore Sr I makes the 2d the persians only, but the text says Medes a seruant Dan 5. 28. - at the close of the Ch. he makes Media & persia the the second beast

Wether Sect 4. should be interpozed. it does explain the growth of the power Eccles: power only, and that before he come to be the 11th horn. see the last passage.

[1] The new time is only a construction of the old only he takes notice of those who thought the little horn to be {Ant Epist qu.} if this should be put in an appendix.

[Editorial Note 1] The following two (deleted) lines are written upside down from the bottom of the page.

[Editorial Note 2] This page is written upside down.

© 2024 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