“The purity and faith of the early Church had been destroyed by superstitious zealots who were intent upon bowing down before the illusion of the Trinity or Three In One. His mathematical, as well as spiritual, creed directly opposed their position. In his support of Arius Newton was proclaiming that the priests and bishops of the Church were practicing idolatry in their worship of Christ. Newton discovered, in the words of a fellow Arian, ‘that what has been long called Arianism is no other than Old uncorrupt Christianity; and that Athanasius (he propounded what had then become the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, in which Christ is seen as equal or ‘consubstantial’ with God) was the grand and very wicked Instrument of that Change.’ In his notebook Newton declared that ‘the Father is God of the Son.’ He also believed that the true religion was derived from the sons of Noah, and has been transmitted by Abraham, Isaac, and Moses. Pythagoras was a convert to this religion, and passed it on to his own disciples. Christ was a witness to that primitive faith in his simple commandments to love God and to love one’s neighbor. In a later document Newton declared that we must worship ‘the only invisible God’ and venerate ‘the one mediator between God & men the man Jesus Christ.’ At the peril of our souls ‘we must not pray to two Gods.’ We must not worship Christ. Christ had been filled with divine spirit, but he was not God.” PETER ACKROYD


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