Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Isaac Newton, Scientist and Christian part 1

A Character story about endurance.

Isaac Newton was a scientist with an unusually good mind. Legrange, the French mathematician said, "Newton was the greatest genius that ever existed." During his lifetime, Isaac Newton formulated three famous laws of motion, developed a whole new branch of mathematics, invented a new and better telescope, and even uncovered a counterfeiting ring in England! Most of all, he loved God and the Bible and did his best to please his Heavenly Father. In the next few weeks we will learn more about the life of this amazing man.
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"Hurry!" an old lady ordered her young friend as they trudged through the snow Christmas morning, 1642. "The child's life is hanging by a thread as it is."

"Perhaps the medicine from Lady Pakenham will help . . . Perhaps."

"The poor dear," the first lady continued, her cheeks red from the winter wind. "Mrs. Newton I mean, of course. Lost her husband two months ago, and now probably will loose her only child. Life is hard at times, isn't it?"

"Indeed. But the child isn't gone yet."

When the women finally were able to see Mrs. Newton, the new mother spoke weakly. "Pray for my baby, won't you? I have asked God for a son, and he has heard by prayer. I will name him after his dead father, Isaac Newton."

Many were surprised as Isaac gained strength and grew steadily, but slowly. Though the Civil War in England brought no peace to beautiful Witham River valley, Isaac still loved the outdoors. But with no income, the Woolsthorpe Manor suffered. Stone walls crumbled, trees needed cutting, and the roof leaked. Farm animals strayed away and were taken by hungry soldiers. Widow Newton and Grandmother Ayscough tried to keep the farm running, but they simply didn't have the money to do so.

A few months before Isaac was three, a gentleman came to call on Hannah Newton. "I c-come in behalf of Reverend Barnabas Smith," he fidgeted. "He wishes to propose marriage to you."

Mrs. Newton was taken back. "Why, Reverend Smith is 60 years old!"

"Quite true, and never married. But he is a wealthy man and well able to take care of you."

"And why doesn't he speak for himself?"

Rev. Mr. Smith is too shy to come in person. He would not know how to respond if you turned him down to his face. What shall I tell him?"

"T-tell him I need a week to think this over."

During the week Hannah's brother checked the character of Rev. Smith. "I have found him to be a sincere and honest man," James said. "And he would certainly be able to help you keep up the farm."

At the end of the week, Hannah told the man to ask Rev. Smith to call on her to work out a marriage contract.

When he did come, they talked stiffly for a few moments. Then Rev. Smith looked around the farm. "The old house needs much repair. You will, of course, come to live with me in North Witham. I will pay for the repairs on the house and will hire someone to run the farm."

"That is very generous," Hannah agreed. "I'm sure that Isaac and I will be happy in North Witham."

"I-I am an old man stuck in my ways," the old man replied hesitantly. "It would not be fair to Isaac to force him into the mold of my strict routine. I-I would like you to leave him here at Woolsthorpe Manor with his grandmother. I will be sure they are taken care of."

Leave Isaac behind? Hannah surely didn't want to do that. But what choice did she have? She had no money, and, after all, she would only be a mile and a half away. Relunctantly she agreed.

The big house seemed very lonely for Isaac with mother gone. Still, she visited him often and the sound of the carpenters, and masons fixing the house made him glad. And anyway, he could see the steeple of his stepfather's church from the window.

Time passed. One day Grandmother Ayscough announced, "Isaac, you have a new half-sister. Her name is Mary." Later Isaac also got a step-brother Benjamin. He liked to visit them and to teach them things he was learning. But he most enjoyed making working models of his ideas.

"Well, the school term is over," Grandmother said to Isaac one day. "How did you do?"

"O.K." Isaac answered. "Some of the subjects are interesting, but mostly they skip teaching what I enjoy."

"I fear you spend too much time dreaming, my boy. You are not neglecting your arithmetic, are you?"

"Oh no. Numbers are easy. I use them all the time to make my scale models. But in school I love to copy verses from the Bible in my free time. That's the Bible my father left me. Copying verses helps with my writing and teaches me more about God's Word. And for reading, I have a book that stepfather Smith gave me about Daniel."

When his uncle James saw the models, he was amazed. He wanted to show his brother William. "Isaac's wooden toys of houses and carts and windmills actually move. Doors open, wheels turn, and sails spin," he said.

"Isaac's mind picks up ideas like a sponge," William replied. "The boy has ability. But he needs training. The only school where he would get proper training and still be taught about God would be King's School in Grantham."

"That would be seven miles away!" Hannah protested. "That is too far to walk each day."

"True. But my friend Ralf Clark has a drug store there. Isaac could room with him."

Hannah sighed. She hated to have him move even further away, but she also wanted Isaac to amount to something. "Very well. Next term, Isaac will go to King's School."