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Characters well, and was willing to undertake ic upon proper Encouragement, which I almost undertook to procure him from my old Friend the Lord King, when he was first made Lord Chancellor, and had so many Prebends in his Gift. Buc upon my Application to him, I found fo prodigious a Change in him, such strange Coldness in the Matters that concerned Religion, and such an earnest Inclination to Money and Power, that I
gave up my Hopes quickly. Nay, indeed, I soon perceived that he disposed of his Preferments almost wholly at the Request of such great Men as could best support him in his high Station, without Regard to Christianity; and I soon cast off all my former Acquaintance with him. Now, by the way, if such a Person as the Lord King, who began with so much facred Learning, and Zeal for Primitive Christianity, as his first Work, The Enquiry into the Constitution, Discipline, Unity, and Worship of the Primitive Cburch, thewed, was so foon thoroughly perverted by the Love of Power and Money at Court, what good Christians will not be horribly affrighted at the desperate Hazard they must run, if they 'venture into the Temptations of a Court hereafter ? Such Examples make me often think how wisely our blessed Saviour put in that Petition into the Lord's Prayer, Lead us not into Temptation.
I proceed now in my own History.
After I had taken Holy Orders, I returned to the College, and went on with my own Studies there, particularly the Mathematicks, and the Cata
tefian Philofophy; which was alone in Vogue with us at that Time. But it was - not long before I, with immense Pains, but no Asistance, set myself with the utmost Zeal to the Study of Sir Isaac Newton's wonderful Discoveries in his Philofophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, one or two of which Lectures I had heard him read in the publick Schools, though I' understood them not at all at that Time. Being indeed greatly excited thereto by a Paper of Dr. Gregory's when he was ProferTor in Scotland; wherein he had given the most prodigious Commendations to that Work, as not only right in all Things, but in a manner the Effect of a plainly, Divine Genius, and had already caused several of his Scholars to keep Aets, as we call them, upon several Branches of the Newtonian Philosophy; while we at Cambridge, poor Wretches, were ignominiously studying the fictitious Hypotheses of the Cartesan, which Sir Isaac Newton had also himself done formerly, as I have heard him say. What the Occasion of Sir Isaac Newton's leaving the Cartesian Philosophy, and of discovering his amazing Theory of Gravity was, I have heard him long ago, soon after my first Ac. quaintance with him, which was 1694, thus relate, and of which Dr. Pemberton gives the like Account, and somewhat more fully, in the Preface to his Explication of his Philosophy : It was this. An Inclination came into Sir Isaac's Mind to try, whether the fame Power did not keep the Moon in her Orbit, notwithstanding her projectile Velocity, which he knew always tended to go along a strait
Line the Tangent of that Orbit, which makes Stones and all heavy Bodies with us fall downward, and which we call Gravity? Taking this Postulatum, which had been thought of before, that such Power might decrease in a duplicate Proportion of the Distances from the Earth's Center. Upon Sir Isaac's first Trial, when he took a Degree of a great Circle on the Earth's Surface, whence a Degree at the Distance of the Moon was to be determined also, to be 60 measured Miles only, according to the gross Measures then in Use. He was, in some Degree, disappointed, and the Power that restrained the Moon in her Orbit, measured by the versed Sines of that Orbit, appeared not to be quite the same that was to be expected, had it been the Power of Gravity alone, by which the Moon was there influenc’d. Upon this Disappointment, which made Sir Isaac suspect that this Power was partly that of Gravity, and partly that of Cartesius's Vortices, he threw aside the Paper of his Calculation, and went to other Studies. However, some time afterward, when Monsieur Picart had much more exactly measured the Earth, and found that a Degree of a great Circle was 69 such Miles, Sir Ifaac, in turning over some of his former Papers, light upon this old imperfect Calculation ; and, correcting his former Error, discover'd that this Power, at the true correct Distance of the Moon from the Earth, not only tended to the Earth's Center, as did the common Power of Gravity with us, but was exactly of the right Quantity ; and that if a Stone was carried up to the Moon, or to D 3
60 Semidameters of the Earth, and let fall downward by its Gravity, and the Moon's own menstrual Motion was stopt, and she was lec fall by that Power which before retained her in her Orbit, they would exactly fall towards the same Point, and with the fame Velocity : which was therefore no other Power than that of Gravity. And since that Power appear'd to extend as far as the Moon, at the Distance of 240900 Miles, it was but natural, or rather necessary, to suppose it might reach twice, thrice, four Times, &c. the fame Distance, with the same Diminution, according to the Squares of such Distances perpetually, Which noble Discovery proved the happy Occasion of the Invention of the wonderful Newtonian Philosophy: Which indeed I look upon in an higher Light than others, and as an eminent Prelude and Preparation to those happy Times of the Restitution of all Things, which God bas Spoken of by the Mouth of all his boly Prophets fance the World began, Acts iii. 21. To which Purpose fee his excellent Corollaries relating to Religion, of which hereafter. Nor can I forbear ta wish, that my own most important Discoveries concerning true Religion, and Primitive Christianity, may fucceed in the second Place to his surprizing Discoveries ; and may together have such a Divine
leffing upon them, that the Kingdoms of this World, as I firmly expect they will, may soon become tbe Kingdoms of our Lord, and of bis Chrift, and be may reign for ever and ever! Amen. *Amen.
But now, as to this wonderful Man, Sir Ifago Newton, I mean wonderful in Mathematicks,
and Natural Philosophy, and their Consequences : He is one of the greatest Instances that ever was, how weak, how very weak, the greatest of mortal Men may be in some Things, though they be beyond all Men in others; and how prodigiously Inclination, even in such Men, can overbear the contrary superior Evidence; nay, where they cannot wholly avoid seeing such Superior Evidence before them. Sir Isaac, in Mathematicks, could fofmetimes see almost by Intuition, even without Demonstration; as was the Case in that famous Proposition in his Principia, that All Parallelograms circumscribed about the Conjugate Diameters of an Ellipsis are equal ; which he told Mr. Cotes he used before it had ever been demonstrated by any one, as it was afterward. And when he did but propose Conjectures in Natural Philosophy, he almost always knew them to be true at the same Time ; yet did this Sir Isaac Newton compose a Chronology, and wrote out 18 Copies of its first and principal Chapter with his own Hand, but little different one from another, which proved no better than a fagacious Romance, as I have fully proved in my Confutation of it, and which, since that Confutation, no one learned Person in Europe that I know of, has ventur'd to defend ; which thing when Mr. Arthur Onslow once observed to me, I told him, that though it was impossible to be defended, yet, had it not been for my Confutation, it had beengenerally believed for seven Years, upon account of the vastly great Reputation of its Au