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Isaac Newton: Just a Jerk Who Used Bro’s Towel, Stole Mum’s Plums & Made Pies on Sunday

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on March 14, 2012

Isaac Newton believed he had a pipeline to God, who was whispering the secrets of creation to him, and that nobody else had been blessed in this way. He considered himself not only different, but better than everyone as well. Considering, however, that he basically figured out how gravity, light, rainbows and tides work over the course of one summer, perhaps he had reason for such pretentiousness.

Newton, a chosen one among mere mortals, was pretty hard on himself as a result of his knowledge. A religious man, at the age of 19 he compiled an astronomically absurd list of 57 sins in which he shamed himself privately for using the word God openly and making pies on Sunday night. He also felt terrible about using his bro’s towel without permission, stealing plums and issuing several beatings and strikes.

Here’s one of the greatest lists ever assembled. So many gems:

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


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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

49. Glutony
50. Glutony
51. Using Wilfords towel to spare my own
52. Negligence at the chapel.
53. Sermons at Saint Marys (4)
54. Lying about a louse
55. Denying my chamberfellow of the knowledge of him that took him for a sot.
56. Neglecting to pray 3
57. Helping Pettit to make his water watch at 12 of the clock on Saturday night

Man, Whitsunday really made Newton think long and hard about his level of ‘glutony.’

Think about how far we’ve come in 350 years — twisting a cord on a Sunday morning (unless that’s a euphemism for masturbation) was enough to cause yourself shame? Calling Dorothy Rose a “jade?” If Isaac Newton had a computer, perhaps he’d be the first cyber-bully in the world. Another first!

(via Lists of Note via Brain Pickings)

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