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.
KeywordsHeavenly Body Popular Imagination Irregular Event Religious Persecution Religious Fervour
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