All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer.
Attr. Isaac Newton
This is all over the Internet, never attributed. But it’s not on the Isaac Newton page of Wikiquote, nor on its discussion page (where disputed or disproven quotations go). Eventually I found a extended cut of the quotation, which goes like this:
There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history. All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer. I can take my telescope and look millions of miles into space; but I can go away to my room and in prayer get nearer to God and Heaven than I can when assisted by all the telescopes of earth.
I tried searching for the first sentence, and that has a long and distinguished history, going back at least to 1791, and with a source: “Dr. Smith, late Master of Trinity College,” from whom the author (a Bishop Watson) heard the statement.
But here’s the problem…. the rest of the alleged quotation is not attached. I tried searching for most of the last sentence and found a variant from 1910:
I can take my telescope and look millions and millions of miles into space, watch the blazing suns and rolling planets in the infinite depths of immensity, but I can lay it aside and go into my room, shut the door, get down upon my knees in earnest prayer, and see more of heaven and get closer to God than I can assisted by all the telescopes and material agencies of earth.
The problem is that this doesn’t have the middle sentence, the one about all Newton’s discoveries being in answer to prayer.
So I’m not able to reach a good verdict on this one. It’s not impossible, but I’m not going to be convinced until I see a source at least as good as “Dr. Smith, late Master of Trinity College, told me this.”