Newton to Bentley, February 11, 1692/3




††††† The Hypothesis of deriving the frame of the world by mechanical principles from matter eavenly spread through the heavens being inconsistent with my systeme, I had considered it very little before your letters put me upon it, and therefore trouble you with a line or two more about it if this come not too late for your use. In my former I represented that the diurnal rotations of the Planets could not be derived from gravity but required a divine power to impress them. And tho gravity might give the Planets a motion of descent towards the sun either directly or with some little obliquity, yet the transverse motions by which they revolve in their several orbs required the divine Arm to impress them according to the tangents of their orbs. I would now add that the Hypothesis of matters being at first eavenly spread through the heavens is, in my opinion, inconsistent with the Hypothesis of innate gravity without a supernatural power to reconcile them, and therefore it infers a Deity. For if there be innate gravity its impossible now for the matter of the earth and all the Planets and stars to fly up from them and become eavenly 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.


††††† You queried whether matter eavenly spread throughout a finite space of some other figure than spherical, would not in falling down towards a centrall body cause that body to be of the same figure with the whole space, and I answered, Yes. But in my answer itís to be supposed that the matter descends directly downwards to that body and that that body has no diurnal rotation. This Sir is all that I would add to my former Letters. I am


Your most humble Servant


Is. Newton