Four letters ... to doctor Bentley, containing some arguments in proof of a deity [in reply to inquiries made by him before publishing the last two lectures of A confutation of atheism].
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Page 18 - You sometimes speak of gravity as essential and inherent to matter. Pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know, and therefore would take more time to consider of it.
Page 24 - ... a vacuum, without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one to another, is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man, who has in philosophical matters a competent faculty of thinking, can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an agent acting constantly according to certain laws ; but whether this agent be material or immaterial, I have left to the consideration of my readers" (3d letter to Bentley, 5th February 1692-93).
Page 32 - For if there be innate gravity, it is impossible now for the matter of the earth and all the planets and stars to fly up from them, and become evenly spread throughout all the heavens, without a supernatural power; and certainly that which can never be hereafter without a supernatural power, could never be heretofore without the same power.
Page 1 - WHEN I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity ; and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.
Page 10 - I see nothing extraordinary in the inclination of the earth's axis for proving a Deity, unless you will urge it as a contrivance for winter and summer, and for making the earth habitable towards the poles ; and that the diurnal rotations of the sun and planets, as they could hardly arise from any cause purely mechanical, so by being determined all the same way with the annual and menstrual...
Page 3 - ... were an opaque body like the planets or the planets lucid bodies like the sun, how he alone should be changed into a shining body whilst all they continue opaque, or all they be changed into opaque ones whilst he remains unchanged, I do not think explicable by mere natural causes, but am forced to ascribe it to the counsel and contrivance of a voluntary Agent.
Page 2 - As to your first query, it seems to me that if the matter of our sun and planets and all the matter of the universe were evenly scattered throughout all the heavens, and every particle had an innate gravity towards all the rest, and the whole space throughout which this matter was scattered was but finite, the matter on the outside of this space would by its gravity tend towards all the matter on the inside...
Page 9 - Flamsteed, and had they been placed much nearer to the sun and to one another, they would by the same powers have caused a considerable disturbance in the whole system.
Page 8 - But when I consider that our earth is much more heated in its bowels below the upper crust by subterraneous fermentations of mineral bodies than by the sun...
Page 14 - And much harder is it to suppose all the particles in an infinite space should be so accurately poised one among another, as to stand still in a perfect equilibrium. For I reckon this as hard as to make not one needle only, but an infinite number of them, so many as there are particles in an.