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Here are a few more tidbits from the life of Newton to illustrate just how good things were back in the good old days:

  • When Newton went to Trinity College, he had “enough” for his immediate needs: a chamber pot, a notebook of 140 blank pages (three and a hlaf by five and a half inches with leather covers), a quart bottle and ink to fill it, candles for many long nights, and a lock for his desk.
  • Newton feared disease (indeed the plague struck London during his lifetime, forcing him away from the city for many years). He was particularly scared of plague and pox and treated himself preemptively by drinking a self-made elixir or turpentine, rosewater, olive oil, beeswax, and sack.
  • He didn’t accept religious teachings on their face and he worried . He read the original documents, the many translations of them, the histories of the time periods of when they were written, etc. to come to his own understanding of the divine. For example, he discovered that the work trinity never appears in the New Testament. And that the treatment of Father, Son and Ghost as one was a phrase added only in the King James version of the bible. That is news to me, a long-time Catholic! How many Catholics know that?
  •  He spent a good portion of the latter years of his life as Master of the Mint of England. This at a time when the coinage had been severely debased. He did not consider the production of bad money to be a victimless crime (in fact, counterfeiting was punishable by death). Furthermore, the English crown held the Master of the Mint responsible for the weight and purity of its coinage, subject to enormous fines (the only modern equivalent seems to be the central bank of New Zealand). A jury of the Goldsmiths’ Company would randomly select coins produced by Newton’s Mint and test them by fire, water, touch and weight and present the results to a King. Newton brought the standardization of England’s coin to new heights of exactness. He was meticulous, and perhaps would have done so without the stick of the penalty … but would you say the same about today’s central bankers?

3 Responses to “What Else We Can Learn from Newton”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    Very interesting stuff, I wasn’t aware of any of that.

  2. Michael says:

    At least the rosewater would have done him some good (vitamin C). Although the “Trinity” is never mentioned, the concepts are definately in the verses. The treatment as one goes a lot longer back than the KJV; there is the council of Nicea and also “Hear O Israel, the Lord is God and the Lord is one” (and a lot of other verses). There are plenty of other words not mentioned, too, like “incarnate.”

  3. Harry says:

    In the sports pages, Trinity is hardly mentioned. It usually goes: Trinity (Conn) d. Amherst 66-65 (football) or Trinity (Conn) d. Amherst 34-33 (basketball).

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