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AN
ATTEMPT

TO PROVE

THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY

FROM

THE WISDOM DISPLAYED IN ITS ORIGINAL

ESTABLISHMENT,

AND FROM

THE HISTORY OF FALSE AND CORRUPTED

SYSTEMS OF RELIGION :

IN A
SERIES OF DISCOURSES ::

PREACAT;;;
BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
. IN THE YEAR MDcccviii,

At the Lecture founded by
THE LATE REV. JOHN BAMPTON, M. A.

CANON OF SALISBURY.

BY

JOHN PENROSE, M. A.

OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE.
viean rå Lanule

OXFORD:
At the University Press, for J. Cooke, and J. PARKER;
And for John MURRAY, Fleet Street ; F. and C. Rivington, St. Paul's
Church Yard; J, HATCHARD, Piccadilly; and A. CONSTABLE

and Co. Edinburgh.

1808.

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TO

HIS GRACE

THE

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE, :,

It is so natural that I should deem it a high distinction to be permitted to inscribe this work to the Archbishop of Canterbury, that but few words can be requisite to express my sense of the obligation. My habits of intercourse with a county in which your Grace has been long known are such as to have instructed me in the full value of the favour thus conferred upon me. Indeed, I. Thall readily be believed in declaring that I feel it to be doubly gratifying, as it proceeds from a person whose character reflects the highest honour on his fplendid rank.

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· The

The well-known Bampton Lectures for the year 1784 contain a view of the contrast between Christianity and Mahometanism. To those lectures I am willing to think that these may be considered as supplemental. I have endeavoured to prove the truth of the Chriftian religion by an inquiry into the wisdom which was displayed in its first establishment: and I have taken a line of argument which I do not recollect. to..have seen pursued elsewhere: : In the profecution of this inquiry I have been led into a series of historical details concerning those teachers of false religions, or of a corrupted Christianity, from whose conduct I thought it most expedient to show that the conduct of Christ himself may be distinguished by infallible criteria. And, though I have purposely abstained from any particular animadversion on the history of the Arabian legislator, still the topics which I have attempted to discuss are so similar to that of - Professor White, that I may be accounted, not, indeed, as a writer of the same class, but as a labourer in the same department with him.

Every author is entitled to flatter himself that he has done something for the question of which he has treated; and should he on this account be thought guilty of vanity, it is better to submit to that imputation than to incur the still more serious charge of trifling, willingly, with the attention of the Public. I venture, therefore, to hope that the argument of these discourses, an argument, which, if just, is certainly of the greatest importance, will be found to have been usefully conducted. Should this hope be realized, your Grace, I am sure, will not repent the encouragement which you have been pleased to bestow on him, who has the honour to subscribe himself, with the most unfeigned respect, your Grace's most obliged and obedient Servant,

JOHN PENROSE.

C. C. C. June 14, 1808.

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