The Black Death (bubonic plague) had been reported in London and was now moving to Cambridge. Ships would set sail and then be seen a few days later wandering aimlessly, the entire crew dead.
ISAAC NEWTON- Scientist and Christian Part 3
A Character story about patience.
Isaac Newton returned home to Woolsthorpe from Kings School to take care of the farm. His widowed mother also had with her Mary (11), Benjamin (8) and Hannah jr.(6), Isaac's step-brother and sisters.
Isaac determined to do his best to learn the skills of farming. But one day a hired hand said to his mother, "I do not think Isaac will ever make a farmer, Ma'am."
"What would make you say such a thing?" Hannah asked, shocked.
"For one thing, when we go to the market in Grantham, he is more interested in learning from the druggist than of trading our produce."
"I'm afraid he's right," her brother William added. "I saw the sheep wandering away one day and found Isaac under a tree, working out formulas for calculating the size of the field."
"He daydreams too much," Mary commented. "Yesterday he came in after walking the horse, dragging only a bridle behind him. The horse had slipped out of the bridle and he never noticed!"
"But he comes from a long line of farmers. I don't know what else he would do," Hannah protested.
"Perhaps the Lord wants him to be a minister," James suggested. "He is very knowledgeable in the Scriptures."
And then there was the night of the storm. As the wind blew and the lightning flashed, Isaac went to check on the animals. When he did not return for an hour, his mother braved the storm to look for him. She found him jumping into the wind, trying to measure its force while in the air!
"Headmaster Stokes wants Isaac to finish his work at Kings," William reported. "He says it would be a shame to waste such a mind on the farm. He is probably even smart enough to go to Cambridge." Reluctantly Hannah agreed.
On June 5, 1661, Isaac headed for Cambridge University, some 55 miles from home. He had been top of his class at Kings, but could he keep up the pace at Cambridge? Isaac enrolled in Trinity College, the part of the large university which trained young men to be ministers. Each student at Cambridge wore a long gown all the time and the gown's colours told in which college they were enrolled. Isaac was shocked to see Trinity men drunk and staggering on the streets.
Isaac enrolled at Trinity College as a Sizar. This meant he could not afford the tuition so he worked his way through school by serving one of the faculty members. Since all the faculty members were single men, Isaac would do chores and serve meals to his assigned professor.
Isaac didn't mind the work. But the loud parties carried on by his roommate were too much for a young man who was often deep in thought. One evening, when he could stand it no longer, Isaac went for a walk. Another student was out walking as well. "What brings you out in the late evening?" Isaac asked.
The man sighed. "My roommate. He is playing cards and making all kinds of racket. I can't study. And you?"
"Same reason," Isaac replied.
"My name is John Wickins. I have an idea. Let's ask our roommates if they would want to room together. Then you and I could have a quiet room together."
"That's a splendid idea!" Isaac beamed. As the months passed, John and Isaac became the best of friends. They both loved God and wanted to please Him in every way.
Whenever Isaac visited home, he would travel to Grantham to visit Catherine. They shared each others' lives for hours, and her mother noticed. "I suppose when Isaac finishes school he will be asking for Catherine's hand in marriage."
"Yes," said her brother, "and no finer man could she find."
"Catherine will need to collect all she can for her dowry. The time will pass quicker than we realize."
In 1665 Isaac graduated from Trinity College. Only one person saw the unusual ability Isaac had. This was Professor Barrow, a famous preacher and mathematics professor. Isaac was not sure what to do next- continue his school or.. But the decision was made for him. The Black Death (bubonic plague) had been reported in London and was now moving to Cambridge. Ships would set sail and then be seen a few days later wandering aimlessly, the entire crew dead. A poem arose during this time:
Ring a ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies.
Ashes to ashes,
We all fall down!
A bring red ring circling a black dot on the skin was a sure sign of the disease. Some people stuffed their pockets with flowers (posies) to keep from it, but this did nothing. The victim's skin turned the colour of ashes and death struck, sometimes within 24 hours. The plague forced Cambridge University to close for a while.
During that summer Isaac went home but his family would not allow him to help with the chores. "You rest and study," his mother said. Isaac spent much time in the orchard, studying the Bible, especially Daniel. He developed a new mathematics which he called fluxions. (later it was called Calculus) He also studied theology, Bible history, optics, telescopes, and gravity. Studying gravity was not easy. Many had theories about gravity but no one could prove their theories. Then one day an apple fell from a tree overhead and banged onto his work table. Isaac picked up the apple. Suddenly he got an idea.