Newton’s Sins

Here is a list of Isaac Newton’s confessed sins before Whitsunday:


  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
  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


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  • Rick

    I appreciate his thorough honesty. While ome seem silly (#7) to me, I hope I am not ignoring too many of my trangressions. Likewise, some (#39) hit all too close to home.

  • Never one to shy away from giving a beating, was Mr. Newton

  • Ellen

    Sing it, everyone! “One of these things is not like the other. . .”

  • phil_style

    “Twisting a cord on Sunday morning” !


    It’s so odd seeing that “sin” in a list alongside these ones:
    Threatning my father and mother Smith to burne them and the house over them
    Wishing death and hoping it to some

  • joey

    This limited view of sin persists today. The bigger picture, of course, is that Sin is the condition of our hearts (Matt 15), not only the external acts that we commit. That Sin is our heart’s condition should tell us something about atonement.

  • My first thought was the incongruity of utterly petty items alongside deep and profound sins. Then I thought of my own sins, both great and small…I doubt that I take any better stock of my soul than Newton did of his. Furthermore, I commend him for thoroughness…all of life is Coram Deo.

  • John W Frye

    ‘punching my sister”…there is nothing new under the sun…I had four daughters 🙂

  • MatthewS

    I’m wondering if 10.5 should have been “Laughing on Thy day when the pin stuck him”

  • According to the source, this was written when he was 19. Some of it’s a bit childish for that age. I thought people in those days had to mature faster. Guess not. Also, I like #13.

  • DSO

    Quite the desperado.

    He sounds not very far from Luther’s torments as a monk.

  • JohnM

    The temptation to make pies on Sunday night never entered my mind till now. Thanks alot Newton!

  • Diane

    I loved reading this. Thank you.

  • Larry Barber

    I thought people in those days had to mature faster.

    Not if you were rich. Some things never do change.

  • Robin

    It reminds me of Augustine’s confessions in its painstaking detail

  • Cal

    The truth is, we call unclean what God has called clean and call sin things that are not.

    I laughed hysterically over baking pies but the reality of wanting to punch his sister, act peevish, and threaten his parents, like joey #5 said, is at the heart.

  • Bonniedoon

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this list. A reminder to a bygone era of both innocence and legalism. But it shows that the heart changeth not.