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pretty much our common clonic* and clock-cases, but le3S; for it waa not above four feet in height, and of a proportionable breadth. There was a dial plate at top with figures of the hours. The index was turned by a piece of wood, which either fell or rose by water dropping. This stood in the room where he lay, and he took care every morning to supply it with its proper quantity of water; and the family upon occasion would go to see what was the hour by it. It was left in the house long after he went away to the University."—
"These fancies sometimes engrossed so much of his thoughts, that he was apt to neglect his book, and dull boys were now and then put over him in form. But this made him redouble his pains to overtake (hem, and such was his capacity that he could soon do it, and outstrip them when he pleased ; and it was taken notice of by his master. Still nothing could induce him to lay by his mechanical experiments: bat all holidays, and what time the boys had allowed to play, he spent entirely in knocking and hammering in his lodging room, pursuing that strong bent of his inclination not only in things serious, but ludicrous too, and what would please his school-fellows, as well as himself; yet it was in order to bring them ofF from trifling sports, and teach them, 3s we may call it, to play philosophically, and in which he might willingly bear a part, and he was particularly ingenious at inventing diversions for them, above the vulgar kind. As for instance, in making paper kites, which he first introduced here. He took pains, they say, in finding out their proportions and figures, and whereabouts -the string should be fastened to the greatest advantage, and in how many places. Likewise he first made lanterns of paper crimpled, which he used to go to school by, in winter mornings, with a candle, and tied them to the tails of the kites in a dark night, which at first affrighted the country people exceedingly, thiuk'ing they were comets. It is thought thaf he first invented this method; I can't tell how true They tell us too how diligent he was in observing the motion of the sun, especially in the yard of the house where he lived, against the walls and roofs, wherein he would drive pigs, to mark the hours and half hours made by the shade *, which by degrees from some years observations, he had made "very exact, and any body knew what o'clock it was by Isaac's dial, as they ordinarily called it ; thus in his youngest years did that immense genius discover his sublime imagination, that since has, filled, or rather comprehended the world.
*' The lad was not ouly very expert with hi'9 mechanical tools, but he was equally so with his pen. For* he busied himself very much in drawing, which I suppose he learnt from his own inclination, and observation of nature.- By inquiry, I was informed that one old Barley (as he was called) was his writing master, who lived where now is the Millstone alehouse, in Castle Street; but they don't remember that he (Barley) had any knack in drawing. However, by this means Sir Isaac furnished his whole room with pictures of hi* own making, which probably he copied from prints, as well as from
« * Several of these dials are to be been on the wall of the manor house at Woolsthorpe.'
life. They mention several of the kings heads, Dr. Donne, and likewise his Master Stokes. Under the picture of King Charles I. he wrote these verses, which I had from Mrs. Vincent by memory, who fancies he made them ; if that be true, it is most probable he designed the print too, which is common to this day:
* A secret art my soul requires to try,
"These pictures he made frames to himself, and coloured them over in a workmanlike manner.
"Mrs. Vincent is a widow gentlewoman living here, aged 83. Her maiden name was Storey, surer to Dr. Storey a physician of Buckminster near Colsterworth. Her mother, who was a handsome woman, was second wife to Mr. Clark, the apothecary where Sir Isaac lodged; so that she lived with him in the same house all the time of his being at Grantham, which was about seven years. Her mother and Sir Isaac's mother were intimately acquainted, which was the reason of his lodging at Mr. Clark's. She gave me much of the foregoing account. She says Sir Isaac was always a sober, silent, thinking lad, and was never known scarce to play whh the boys abroad, at their silly amusements; but would rather chose to be at home, even among the girls, and would frequently make little tables, cupboards, and other utensils for her and her play-fellows, to set their babys and trinkets on. She mentions likewise a cart he made with four wheels, wherein he would sit, and by turning a windlass about, he could make it carry him around the house where he pleased. Sir Isaac and she being thus brought up together, 'tis said that he entertained a love for her; nor does she deny it: but her portion being not considerable, and he being a fellow of a college, it was incompatible with his fortunes to marry ; perhaps his studies too. 'Tis certain he always had a kindness for her, visited her whenever in the country, in both her husband's days, and gave her forty shillings, upon a time, whenever f - was of service to her. She is a little woman, but we may with ease discern that she has been very handsome.
"Mr. Clark tells me that the room where Sir Isaac lodged, was his lodging room too when a lad, and that the whole wall was still full of the drawings he had made upon it with charcoal, and so remained till pulled down about sixteen years ago, as I said before. There were birds, beasts, men, ships, and mathematical schemes, and very well designed.
"We must understand all this while that his mother had left Wofsthorp and lived witli her second husband at North-Witham. But upon his death, after she had three children by him, she re
D d 3 turned turned to her own house, which likewise, it ought to be remember* ed, was rebuilt by him. She upon this was for (aving expences as much as she could, and recalled her son Isaac from school, intending to make him serviceable in managing of the farm and country business at Wolsthorp, and I doubt not but she thought it would turn more to his own account, than bei'ng a scholar. Accordingly we must suppose him attending the tillage, grazing, and the like. And they tell us that he frequently came on Saturdays to Grantham market, with corn and other commodities to sell, and to carry home what necessaries were proper to be bought at a market town for a family; but being young, his mother usually sent a trusty old servant along with him, to put him into the way of business. Their inn was at the Saracen's Head in Wcstgate, where as soon as they had set up their horses, Isaac generally left the man to manage the marketings, and retired instantly to Mr I lark's garret, where he used to lodge, neae where lay a parcel of old books of Mr. Clark's, which he entertained liimself with, whilst it »as time <o go home again; or else he would, stop by the way between home and Grantham, and lye under a hedge; studying whilst the man went to town and did the business, and called upon him in his return. No doubt the man made remonstrances of this to his mother. Likewise when at home, if his mother ordered him into thr fields, to look after the.shctp, the corn, or upon any other rural employment, it went on very heavily through his manage. His chief delight w s to sit under a tree, with a book in his hands, or to busy himself wich his knife in cutting woo^ for models of somewhat or other that struck his fancy: or he would get to a stream and make mill wheels."
The verses liere inserted gave not much promise of eminence in the line of poetry, but they are not on that account less likely to have been written by Newton. A taste for drawing may naturally be supposed to have been accompanied by a propensity to its sister art; and indeed most persons of distinguished talents have, at some period in early life, courtt-d the Muses : but we have the express testimony of the philosopher himself, that he was at one time in the habit of amusing himself in this pursuit.
Of the MSS. in the possession of the Portsmouth family we have long heard, and it has been matter of surprize to us that they had not before been examined. Extracts from them, as far as they illustrate the life of the philosopher, are here given ; and the public are obliged to Mr. Turnor for the high gratification which every lover of science and worth wilj derive from them. It has been stated, but with what truth we know hot, that the MSS. contain papers which treat of various miscellaneous matters, and particularly some on controverted ^points of theology:—it is also said that the opinions which they support are riot such as would be agreeable to many of his admirers, especially to a late editor of
\ a splendid a splendid edition of his woTks: but whatever they are, they ought to be laid before the public. The sentiments, the views, and the ideas of Newton belong to mankind, and should not any longer be kept out of sight. We wish that the respectable editor had addressed inquiries of this sort to Mr. Garnett, and inserted the result in his volume. It is much to be desired, that some person qualified for the undertaking should be allowed free access to those papers, who would faithfully give the world the information to which we have_alluded, and at the same time discharge the debt which the country has so long owed to the memory of its brightest ornament, that of writing the life of our great philosopher. Surely the learned seminary, to which he did so much honour, can furnish men equal 10 the task,
Art. XII. A Summary View of the Evidence and practical Importance of the Christian Revelation, in a Series of Discourses addressed to Young Persons. By Thomas Belbhani, Minister of the Unitarian Chapel in Essex Street. bvo. Boards. Johnson, 1807.
Hthe creed of Judaism is unencumbered with mystery; and it is the object of Mr. Belsham to prove that Christianity, as it emanated from Judaism, possesses a similar doctrinal simplicity, though surpassing it in grandeur and importance. According to him, ' to believe in the christian revelation, is to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a teacher commissioned by God to reveal the doctrine of a future life, in which virtue will find a correspondent reward, and vice shall suffer condign punishment, and that of this oommission he gave satisfactory evidence by his resurrection from the dead.' Such a Christianity, being more simplified, may be preferred by philosophers to the prevalent Christianity of the present day; while the multitude probably will continue to express their predilection for the more complex systems of belief. Hence, as it has been observed, Unitarianism is not likely to become popular and dangerous to establishments; for the faith of philosophers is rarely accompanied by enthusiasm.
Under five general heads, the evidence of the truth of the , Christian religion is arranged ; and Mr. Belsham treats in their order of the philosophical, historical, prophetic, and internal evidence, and lastly of that which is derived from the testimony of the Jewish scriptures.
The objections of Tindal, Hume, and Gibbon are examined; aud to the insidious attack of the last, who endsavours to
D d 4 account
account for the progress of Christianity in the first ages by mere natural causes, Mr. B. thus replies:
4 That some of these causes operated in a considerable degree to promote the progress of Christianity, especially after miraculous powers were withdrawn, may perhaps be granted. But these causes are themselves effects, which require a sufficient cause. Whence arose thic firm unhesitating faith, whence this inflexible and intrepid zeal, whence these pure and austere morals which distinguished the primitive believers? Whence the celebrated union and harmony, the strict, and if you please, the severe, and rigid discipline of the christian church? Grant that Christianity is true, and the difficulties'vanish. But deny the facts which all christians believe, and you leave a mighty effect without an adequate cause. If the christian religion be not true, if Christ did not die and rise again, if his apostles were • not endued with extraordinary and supernatural powers, the zeal of the primitive christians would have been irrational and contemptible, their pretensions to -miracles ridiculous, the strictness of their morals . and the severity of their discipline would have deterred unbelievers from joining their community; and Christianity, like other impostures, unsupported by the civil power, must soon have died away. But the reverse of this is an acknowleged fact. The christian religion continued, by its own unassisted energy, to advance and to establish itself in the world, till, in the end, all opposition gave way, and the demonology of heathenism vanished before the splendour of revealed truth. If then that principle be just which is the foundation of all reasoning upon physical and moral subjects, that every effect must have an adequate cause, the rapid progress and final success of the christian religion demonstrated beyond contradiction, the truth of its doctrine, and the divinity of its original.'
In the second discourse, on the historical evidence, the author adverts to the well known distinction of Eusebius rcspecing the books of the N. T., between the o/xoXtyoofuva and the avTi\iyo,ueva; and he remarks, after Lardner, that the canon should consist of two classes, viz. the universally acknowleged, and the doubtful: but he thinks that no sufficient reason exists for excluding any of the books which are usually admitted into it,4 excepting, perhaps, the epistle of Jude, which appears to contain things which are unworthy of an apostle of Christ.' The book of Revelations he considers as a prophetic volume, and leaves it to rest on its own evidence:
4 After all, (says he,) it is by no means essential to the validity even of the historical evidence, to establish the genuineness of every book of the New Testament. It would be sufficient for this purpose to take them even at the lowest estimate, The combined testimony of Luke and Paul is amply sufficient to establish the credibility of the gospel history. It would, however, be pusillanimous to abandon any of the evangelical writings which are capable of a just and satisfactory defence.'