What sets this theory apart from others is the idea that God's only contribution to the universe was to set everything in motion, and from there the laws of science took hold and have governed every sequence of events since that time. This idea was very popular during the Enlightenment, when scientists realized that Newton's laws of motion, including the law of universal gravitation, could explain the behavior of the solar system.
A notable exclusion from this theory though is free will, since all things have already been set in motion and are just parts of a predictable machine. Newton feared that this notion of "everything is predetermined" would lead to atheism.
This theory was undermined by the second law of thermodynamics (the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value) and quantum physics with its unpredictable random behavior.
Isaac Newton's conception of the universe was one huge, regulated and uniform machine that operated according to natural laws in absolute time, space, and motion. In this new world that Newton created, God was the master-builder, who created the perfect machine and let it run. God was the Prime Mover, who brought into being the world in its lawfulness, regularity, and beauty. This view of God as the creator, who stood aside from his work and didn’t get involved directly with humanity was called Deism (which predates Newton) and was accepted by many who supported the “new philosophy”