Isaac Newton Quotes 56 Sourced Quotes

Sir Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643 – March 31 1727 or in Old Style: December 25, 1642 – March 20, 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, inventor, theologian and natural philosopher. He is often regarded as the most influential scientist in history and is most famous for discovering the Laws of Gravity.

Here are 56 real Isaac Newton quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “The 2300 years do not end before the year 2132 nor after 2370. The time times & half time do not end before 2060. .... It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fancifull men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, & by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail. Christ comes as a thief in the night, & it is not for us to know the times & seasons which God hath put into his own breast.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture (1704), regarding his calculations "Of the End of the World" based upon the prophecies of Daniel, quoted in Look at the Moon! the Revelation Chronology (2007) by John A. Abrams, p. 141
 • This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail.
 • As quoted in "The world will end in 2060, according to Newton" in the London Evening Standard (19 June 2007)

2. “Idolatry is a more dangerous crime because it is apt by the authority of Kings & under very specious pretenses to insinuate it self into mankind. Kings being apt to enjoyn the honour of their dead ancestors: & it seeming very plausible to honour the souls of Heroes & Saints & to believe that they can heare us & help us & are mediators between God & man & reside & act principally in the temples & statues dedicated to their honour & memory? And yet this being against the principal part of religion is in scripture condemned & detested above all other crimes. The sin consists first in omitting the service of the true God.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'" Of Idolatry

3. “The other part of the true religion is our duty to man. We must love our neighbour as our selves, we must be charitable to all men for charity is the greatest of graces, greater then even faith or hope & covers a multitude of sins. We must be righteous & do to all men as we would they should do to us.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'" Of Humanity

4. “Bullialdus wrote that all force respecting ye Sun as its center & depending on matter must be reciprocally in a duplicate ratio of ye distance from ye center.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Letter to Edmund Halley (June 20, 1686) quoted in I. Bernard Cohen and George E. Smith, ed.s, The Cambridge Companion to Newton (2002) p. 204

5. “To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. 'Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Statement from unpublished notes for the Preface to Opticks (1704) quoted in Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1983) by Richard S. Westfall, p. 643

6. “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction; or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Laws of Motion, III

7. “We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) "Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy" : Rule I

8. “Godliness consists in the knowledge love & worship of God, Humanity in love, righteousness & good offices towards man.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'" Of Godliness.

9. “Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowels) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eys of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'" Of Atheism

10. “Abel was righteous & Noah was a preacher of righteousness & by his righteousness he was saved from the flood. Christ is called the righteous & by his righteousness we are saved & except our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees we shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven. Righteousness is the religion of the kingdom of heaven & even the property of God himself towards man. Righteousness & Love are inseparable for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'"

11. “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27). Compare: "As children gath'ring pebbles on the shore", John Milton, Paradise Regained, Book iv. Line 330

12. “Religion is partly fundamental & immutable partly circumstantial & mutable. The first was the Religion of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham Moses Christ & all the saints & consists of two parts our duty towards God & our duty towards man or piety & righteousness, piety which I will here call Godliness & Humanity.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: A short Schem of the true Religion: Undated manuscript : Keynes Ms. 7: '"A short Schem of the true Religion'"

13. “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: Cited in Rules for methodizing the Apocalypse, Rule 9, from a manuscript published in The Religion of Isaac Newton (1974) by Frank E. Manuel, p. 120, as quoted in Socinianism And Arminianism : Antitrinitarians, Calvinists, And Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Europe (2005) by Martin Mulsow, Jan Rohls, p. 273.'''
  • As quoted in God in the Equation : How Einstein Transformed Religion (2002) by Corey S. Powell, p. 29

14. “Amicus Plato — amicus Aristoteles — magis amica veritas”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.
• These are notes in Latin that Newton wrote to himself that he titled: Quaestiones Quaedam Philosophicae [Certain Philosophical Questions] (c. 1664)
• Variant translations: Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth.
Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — truth is a greater friend.
• This is a variation on a much older adage, which Roger Bacon attributed to Aristotle: Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas. Bacon was perhaps paraphrasing a statement in the Nicomachean Ethics: Where both are friends, it is right to prefer truth.

15. “Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Laws of Motion, I

16. “Hypotheses non fingo.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) I frame no hypotheses.
 • A famous statement in the "General Scholium" of the third edition, indicating his belief that the law of universal gravitation was a fundamental empirical law, and that he proposed no hypotheses on how gravity could propagate.
  • As translated by Alexandre Koyré (1956)
I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction.
 • As translated by I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman (1999)

17. “God created everything by number, weight and measure.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: As quoted in Symmetry in Plants (1998) by Roger V. Jean and Denis Barabé, p. xxxvii, a translation of a Latin phrase he wrote in a student's notebook, elsewhere given as Numero pondere et mensura Deus omnia condidit. This is similar to Latin statements by Thomas Aquinas, and even more ancient statements of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. See also Wisdom of Solomon 11:20

18. “The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 30 : Are not gross bodies and light convertible into one another, and may not bodies receive much of their activity from the particles of light which enter into their composition?

19. “Who is a liar, saith John, but he that denyeth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist that denyeth the Father & the Son. And we are authorized also to call him God: for the name of God is in him. Exod. 23.21. And we must believe also that by his incarnation of the Virgin he came in the flesh not in appearance only but really & truly , being in all things made like unto his brethren (Heb. 2 17) for which reason he is called also the son of man.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Drafts on the history of the Church (Section 3). Yahuda Ms. 15.3, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel. 2006 Online Version at Newton Project

20. “Doth not this Æthereal Medium in passing out of Water, Glass, Crystal, and other compact and dense Bodies into empty Spaces, grow denser and denser by degrees, and by that means refract the Rays of Light not in a point, but by bending them gradually in curve Lines? And doth not the gradual condensation of this Medium extend to some distance from the Bodies, and thereby cause the Inflexions of the Rays of Light, which pass by the edges of dense Bodies, at some distance from the Bodies?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 20

21. “Daniel was in the greatest credit amongst the Jews, till the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. And to reject his prophecies, is to reject the Christian religion. For this religion is founded upon his prophecy concerning the Messiah.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 3 : Of the vision of the Image composed of four Metals

22. “I have studied these things — you have not.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Reported as Newton's response, whenever Edmond Halley would say anything disrespectful of religion, by Sir David Brewster in The Life of Sir Isaac Newton (1831). This has often been quoted in recent years as having been a statement specifically defending Astrology. Newton wrote extensively on the importance of Prophecy, and studied Alchemy, but there is little evidence that he took favourable notice of astrologyhttp://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~gent0113/astrology/newton.htm. In a footnote, Brewster attributes the anecdote to the astronomer Nevil Maskelyne who is said to have passed it on to Oxford professor Stephen Peter Rigaudhttp://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gLcVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=brewster+newton+%22I+have+studied%22&source=bl&ots=dEwk6nHcSa&sig=F2uReuXjRWwL3w647pfaU1PlbC0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fqu5UpzkAvOA7Qap9oGoDQ&ved=0CGoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=brewster%20newton%20%22I%20have%20studied%22&f=false

23. “Do not Bodies and Light act mutually upon one another; that is to say, Bodies upon Light in emitting, reflecting, refracting and inflecting it, and Light upon Bodies for heating them, and putting their parts into a vibrating motion wherein heat consists?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 5

24. “Thus have we in the Gospels of Matthew and John all things told in due order, from the beginning of John's preaching to the death of Christ, and the years distinguished from one another by such essential characters that they cannot be mistaken. The second Passover is distinguished from the first, by the interposition of John's imprisonment. The third is distinguished from the second, by a double character: first, by the interposition of the feast to which Christ went up, Mat. viii. 19. Luke ix. 57. and secondly, by the distance of time from the beginning of Christ's preaching: for the second was in the beginning of his preaching, and the third so long after, that before it came Christ said, from the days of John the Baptist until now, &c. and upbraided the cities of Galilee for their not repenting at his preaching, and mighty works done in all that time. The fourth is distinguished from the third, by the mission of the twelve from Christ to preach in the cities of Judea in all the interval. The fifth is distinguished from all the former by the twelve's being returned from preaching, and continuing with Christ during all the interval, between the fourth and fifth, and by the passion and other infallible characters.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 11: Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ

25. “I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Letter to Robert Hooke (15 February 1676) [5 February 1676 (O.S.)]

26. “I keep the subject constantly before me, and wait 'till the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Reply upon being asked how he made his discoveries, as quoted in "Biographia Britannica: Or the Lives of the Most Eminent Persons who Have Flourished in Great Britain from the Earliest Ages Down to the Present Times, Volume 5 ", by W. Innys, (1760), p. 3241.

27. “It is the perfection of God's works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order and not of confusion. And therefore as they would understand the frame of the world must endeavor to reduce their knowledge to all possible simplicity, so must it be in seeking to understand these visions.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Cited in Rules for methodizing the Apocalypse, Rule 9, from a manuscript published in The Religion of Isaac Newton (1974) by Frank E. Manuel, p. 120, quoted in Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1983) by Richard S. Westfall, p. 326, in Fables of Mind: An Inquiry Into Poe's Fiction (1987) by Joan Dayan, p. 240, and in Everything Connects: In Conference with Richard H. Popkin (1999) by Richard H. Popkin, James E. Force, and David S. Katz, p. 124

28. “Whence are you certain that ye Ancient of Days is Christ? Does Christ anywhere sit upon ye Throne?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: He wrote in discussing with John Locke the passage of Daniel 7:9. The Correspondence of Isaac Newton, Vol. III, Letter 362. Cited in The Watchtower magazine, 1977, 4/15, article: Isaac Newton’s Search for God.

29. “Do not the Rays of Light which fall upon Bodies, and are reflected or refracted, begin to bend before they arrive at the Bodies; and are they not reflected, refracted, and inflected, by one and the same Principle, acting variously in various Circumstances?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 4

30. “I do not define time, space, place, and motion, as being well known to all. Only I must observe, that the common people conceive those quantities under no other notions but from the relation they bear to sensible objects. And thence arise certain prejudices, for the removing of which it will be convenient to distinguish them into absolute and relative, true and apparent, mathematical and common.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Definitions - Scholium

31. “Do not several sorts of Rays make Vibrations of several bignesses, which according to their bigness excite Sensations of several Colours, much after the manner that the Vibrations of the Air, according to their several bignesses excite Sensations of several Sounds? And particularly do not the most refrangible Rays excite the shortest Vibrations for making a Sensation of deep violet, the least refrangible the largest form making a Sensation of deep red, and several intermediate sorts of Rays, Vibrations of several intermediate bignesses to make Sensations of several intemediate Colours?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 13

32. “The Prophecies of Daniel are all of them related to one another, as if they were but several parts of one general Prophecy, given at several times. The first is the easiest to be understood, and every following Prophecy adds something new to the former.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 3: Of the vision of the Image composed of four Metals

33. “In the reign of the Greek Emperor Justinian, and again in the reign of Phocas, the Bishop of Rome obtained some dominion over the Greek Churches, but of no long continuance. His standing dominion was only over the nations of the Western Empire, represented by Daniel's fourth Beast.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 8: Of the power of the eleventh horn of Daniel's fourth Beast, to change times and laws

34. “All the characters of the Passion agree to the year 34; and that is the only year to which they all agree.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 11: Of the Times of the Birth and Passion of Christ

35. “The kingdoms represented by the second and third Beasts, or the Bear and Leopard, are again described by Daniel in his last Prophecy written in the third year of Cyrus over Babylon, the year in which he conquered Persia. For this Prophecy is a commentary upon the Vision of the Ram and He-Goat.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 12: Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth

36. “The monarchy of the Greeks for want of an heir was broken into several kingdoms; four of which, seated to the four winds of heaven, were very eminent. For Ptolemy reigned over Egypt, Lybia and Ethiopia; Antigonus over Syria and the lesser Asia; Lysimachus over Thrace; and Cassander over Macedon, Greece and Epirus.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 12: Of the Prophecy of the Scripture of Truth

37. “Henceforward the Christian Churches having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, came into the hands of the Encratites: and the Heathens, who in the fourth century came over in great numbers to the Christians, embraced more readily this sort of Christianity, as having a greater affinity with their old superstitions, than that of the sincere Christians; who by the lamps of the seven Churches of Asia, and not by the lamps of the Monasteries, had illuminated the Church Catholic during the three first centuries.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 13: Of the King who did according to his will...

38. “In scripture we are told of some trusting in God and others trusting in idols, and that God is our refuge, our strength, our defense. In this sense God is the rock of his people, and false Gods are called the rock of those that trust in them, Deut. xxxii. 4, 15, 18, 30, 31, 37. In the same sense the Gods of the King who shall do according to his will are called Mahuzzims, munitions, fortresses, protectors, guardians, or defenders.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John (1733): Published posthumously by his nephew Benjamin Smith - Full text online For background information on these quotations, see Isaac Newton's religious views Vol. I, Ch. 14: Of the Mahuzzims, honoured by the King who doth according to his will

39. “The best and safest method of philosophizing seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish these properties by experiment, and then to proceed more slowly to hypothesis for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them, unless so far as they may furnish experiments.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Letter to Ignatius Pardies (1672) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Feb. 1671/2) as quoted by William L. Harper, Isaac Newton's Scientific Method: Turning Data Into Evidence about Gravity and Cosmology (2011)

40. “If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders of Giants.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: Letter to Robert Hooke (15 February 1676) [dated as 5 February 1675 using the Julian calendar with March 25th rather than January 1st as New Years Day, equivalent to 15 February 1676 by Gregorian reckonings.] The phrase is most famous as an expression of Newton's but he was using a metaphor which in its earliest known form was attributed to Bernard of Chartres by John of Salisbury: Bernard of Chartres used to say that we [the Moderns] are like dwarves perched on the shoulders of giants [the Ancients], and thus we are able to see more and farther than the latter. And this is not at all because of the acuteness of our sight or the stature of our body, but because we are carried aloft and elevated by the magnitude of the giants.
• Modernized variants: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.

41. “In default of any other proof, the thumb would convince me of the existence of a God.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source and Related Info: Reported as something said by Newton in Charles Dickens's All the Year Round (1864), Vol. 10, p. 346; later found in "The Book of the Hand" (1867) by A R. Craig, S. Low and Marston, p. 51:
  "In want of other proofs, the thumb would convince me of the existence of a God; as without the thumb the hand would be a defective and incomplete instrument, so without the moral will, logic, decision, faculties of which the thumb in different degrees offers the different signs, the most fertile and the most brilliant mind would only be a gift without worth."
 • A slight variant of this is cited as something Newton once "exclaimed" in Human Nature : An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective, Vol. 1, Issues 7-12 (1978), p. 47: "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence."

42. “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure remarks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatever.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Anecdote reported by Dr. Robert Smith, late Master of Trinity College, to his student Richard Watson, as something that Newton expressed when he was writing his Commentary On Daniel. In Watson's Apology for the Bible. London 8vo. (1806), p. 57

43. “Oh, Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done!”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: This is from an anecdote found in St. Nicholas magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, (February 1878) :
 Sir Isaac Newton had on his table a pile of papers upon which were written calculations that had taken him twenty years to make. One evening, he left the room for a few minutes, and when he came back he found that his little dog "Diamond" had overturned a candle and set fire to the precious papers, of which nothing was left but a heap of ashes.

44. “I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense; and therefore take that sense to be his which is the best.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Speaking of the apostle John’s writings. Cited in The Watchtower magazine, 1977, 4/15.

45. “Our design, not respecting arts, but philosophy, and our subject, not manual, but natural powers, we consider chiefly those things which relate to gravity, levity, elastic force, the resistance of fluids, and the like forces, whether attractive or impulsive; and therefore we offer this work as mathematical principles of philosophy; for all the difficulty of philosophy seems to consist in this — from the phenomena of motions to investigate the forces of nature, and then from these forces to demonstrate the other phenomena...”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Preface

46. “It is indeed a matter of great difficulty to discover, and effectually to distinguish, the true motions of particular bodies from the apparent; because the parts of that immovable space, in which those motions are performed, do by no means come under the observation of our senses. Yet the thing is not altogether desperate; for we have some arguments to guide us, partly from the apparent motions, which are the differences of the true motions; partly from the forces, which are the causes and effects of the true motions.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Definitions - Scholium

47. “The alternation of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687) Laws of Motion, II

48. “But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions: since the Comets range over all parts of the heavens, in very eccentric orbits. For by that kind of motion they pass easily through the orbs of the Planets, and with great rapidity; and in their aphelions, where they move the slowest, and are detain'd the longest, they recede to the greatest distances from each other, and thence suffer the least disturbance from their mutual attractions.”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687), Scholium Generale (1713; 1726): From The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1729) as translated by Andrew Motte (1846)

49. “Do not Bodies act upon Light at a distance, and by their action bend its Rays; and is not this action (caeteris paribus) [all else being equal] strongest at the least distance?”

—Isaac Newton

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Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 1

50. “Do not the Rays which differ in Refrangibility differ also in Flexibility; and are they not by their different inflexions separated from one another, so as after separation to make the Colours in the three Fringes... ? And after what manner are they inflected to make those Fringes?”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#50

Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 2

51. “Are not the Rays of Light in passing by the edges and sides of Bodies, bent several times backwards and forwards, with a motion like that of an Eel? And do not the three Fringes of colour'd Light... arise from three such bendings?”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#51

Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 3

52. “As Attraction is stronger in small Magnets than in great ones in proportion to their Bulk, and Gravity is greater in the Surfaces of small Planets than in those of great ones in proportion to their bulk, and small Bodies are agitated much more by electric attraction than great ones; so the smallness of the Rays of Light may contribute very much to the power of the Agent by which they are refracted.”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#52

Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 21

53. “What is there in places empty of matter? and Whence is it that the sun and planets gravitate toward one another without dense matter between them? Whence is it that Nature doth nothing in vain? and Whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? To what end are comets? and Whence is it that planets move all one and the same way in orbs concentrick, while comets move all manner of ways in orbs very excentrick? and What hinders the fixed stars from falling upon one another?”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#53

Source: Opticks (1704): There were several editions of Opticks in English and in Latin made in Newtons lifetime, including expansions of the original 16 "Queries" to eventually number 31. Query 28 : Are not all Hypotheses erroneous in which Light is supposed to consist of Pression or Motion propagated through a fluid medium?

54. “One [method] is by a Watch to keep time exactly. But, by reason of the motion of the Ship, the Variation of Heat and Cold, Wet and Dry, and the Difference of Gravity in different Latitudes, such a watch hath not yet been made.”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#54

Source: Board of Longitude Written in remarks to the 1714 Longitude committee; quoted in Longitude (1995) by Dava Sobel, p. 52 (i998 edition) ISBN 1-85702-571-7)

55. “A good watch may serve to keep a recconing at Sea for some days and to know the time of a Celestial Observ[at]ion: and for this end a good Jewel watch may suffice till a better sort of Watch can be found out. But when the Longitude at sea is once lost, it cannot be found again by any watch.”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#55

Source: Board of Longitude Letter to Josiah Burchett (1721), quoted in Longitude (1995) by Dava Sobel, p. 60

56. “Through algebra you easily arrive at equations, but always to pass therefrom to the elegant constructions and demonstrations which usually result by means of the method of porisms is not so easy, nor is one's ingenuity and power of invention so greatly exercised and refined in this analysis.”

—Isaac Newton

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Newton, Sir Isaac. “Isaac Newton Quotes: 56 Sourced Quotes.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/isaac-newton-quotes.html#56

Source: Geometriae (Treatise on Geometry) The Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton (edited by Whiteside), Volume 7; Volumes 1691-1695 / pg. 261.

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