Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Newton's Sins

In 1662, at which point he was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, 19-year-old Isaac Newton wrote, in his notebook, the following list of 57 sins he had recently committed — 48 before Whitsunday, and 9 since. It makes for fascinating reading.

(Source: Newton Project, via Brain Pickings; Image: Isaac Newton, via Wikipedia.)

Before Whitsunday 1662
  1. Using the word (God) openly
  2. Eating an apple at Thy house
  3. Making a feather while on Thy day
  4. Denying that I made it.
  5. Making a mousetrap on Thy day
  6. Contriving of the chimes on Thy day
  7. Squirting water on Thy day
  8. Making pies on Sunday night
  9. Swimming in a kimnel on Thy day
  10. Putting a pin in Iohn Keys hat on Thy day to pick him
  11. Carelessly hearing and committing many sermons
  12. Refusing to go to the close at my mothers command
  13. Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them
  14. Wishing death and hoping it to some
  15. Striking many
  16. Having uncleane thoughts words and actions and dreamese
  17. Stealing cherry cobs from Eduard Storer
  18. Denying that I did so
  19. Denying a crossbow to my mother and grandmother though I knew of it
  20. Setting my heart on money learning pleasure more than Thee
  21. A relapse
  22. A relapse
  23. A breaking again of my covenant renued in the Lords Supper
  24. Punching my sister
  25. Robbing my mothers box of plums and sugar
  26. Calling Dorothy Rose a jade
  27. Glutiny in my sickness
  28. Peevishness with my mother
  29. With my sister
  30. Falling out with the servants
  31. Divers commissions of alle my duties
  32. Idle discourse on Thy day and at other times
  33. Not turning nearer to Thee for my affections
  34. Not living according to my belief
  35. Not loving Thee for Thy self
  36. Not loving Thee for Thy goodness to us
  37. Not desiring Thy ordinances
  38. Not long {longing} for Thee in {illeg}
  39. Fearing man above Thee
  40. Using unlawful means to bring us out of distresses
  41. Caring for worldly things more than God
  42. Not craving a blessing from God on our honest endeavors.
  43. Missing chapel.
  44. Beating Arthur Storer.
  45. Peevishness at Master Clarks for a piece of bread and butter.
  46. Striving to cheat with a brass halfe crowne.
  47. Twisting a cord on Sunday morning
  48. Reading the history of the Christian champions on Sunday
Since Whitsunday 1662
  1. Glutony
  2. Glutony
  3. Using Wilfords towel to spare my own
  4. Negligence at the chapel.
  5. Sermons at Saint Marys (4)
  6. Lying about a louse
  7. Denying my chamberfellow of the knowledge of him that took him for a sot.
  8. Neglecting to pray 3
  9. Helping Pettit to make his water watch at 12 of the clock on Saturday night