Universal Ruler

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This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centers of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One, especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun and from every system light passes into all the other systems; and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances from one another.

This Being governs all things not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” . . . or “Universal Ruler.” . . . It is the dominion of a spiritual being which constitutes a God. . . And from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being. . . he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. . . He endures forever, and is everywhere present; and by existing always and everywhere, he constitutes duration and space. . . In him are all things contained and moved; yet neither affects the other: God suffers nothing from the motion of bodies; bodies find no resistance from the omnipresence of God. . . As a blind man has no idea of colors so we have no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God preserves and understands all things. He is utterly void of all body and bodily figure, and can therefore neither be seen, nor heard, nor touched; nor ought to be worshipped under the representation of any corporeal thing. We have ideas of his attributes, but what the real substance of any thing is we know not…. Much less, then, have we any idea of the substance of God. We know him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things. . . We reverence and adore him as his servants, and a god without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but Fate and Nature. Blind metaphysical necessity, which is certainly the same always and everywhere, could produce no variety of things. All that diversity of natural things which we find suited to different times and places could arise from nothing but the ideas and will of a Being necessarily existing. . . And thus much concerning God, to discourse of whom from the appearances of things does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy.

Sir Isaac Newton – Principia mathematica (1687)

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