Surprisingly, Smith took an early interest in astronomy. It was the source of his doubts about the religious approach to knowledge. Even more surprising was his life-long determination to preserve The Principles which lead and Direct Philosophical Enquiries: illustrated by the History of Astronomy.1 He intended it for publication only after his death because he feared religious persecution. He called it a ‘juvenile work’,2 and it was probably compiled between 1743 and before 1748, though there is more certainty of the latter date than the first.
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