28 OCTOBER 1876, Page 22

Dates and Data. (Triibner and Co.)—The "dates and data "

of this volume concern the "primeval period," and have to do with what the anther terms "religious anthropology." By this rather queer phrase he seems to mean man's history, as connected with the prevalent religious traditions of the world. The book is a compilation, and will be useful to those who want to have the results of recent investigations about prehistoric times brought before them in a tolerably succinct form. Within a compass of a little less than one hundred pages, we are carried from the date 14000 B.C., when the Falls of Niagara and the Delta of the Nile were in an early stage of their formation, down to 3761 B.C., the year in which, according to the Jewish chronology, the heavens and the earth were created. This chronology is of all chronologies the most restricted. Those of the other ancient nations go back into a far more remote past, and so far agree with the testimonies furnished by the sciences of geology, of comparative philology, and mythology. It must be admitted that our orthodox chronology, which, of coarse, was based on the Jewish one, rests on a multitude of precarious numeri- cal data, and has been somewhat of an incubus on the religions faith of many good Christians, though we believe it is fast ceasing to be so. It is important to bear in mind that the chronologies which found favour with the Eastern Church and with the Church of Alexandria differ from ours by more than 1,000 years. This is enough to convince us how very uncertain all chronological systems deduced from the Old Testament must be. To raise any such system into an article of faith is downright superstition, and the late Baron Bunsen was almost justi- fied in saying that " our popular chronology is a fable strung together by ignorance and fraud," though, we presume, he would have admitted that it was framed, at least, with honest intentions. The book before us brings together the general results both of geological and his- torical inquiries, and only gives us a notion of some of the modern theories as to the origin of various savage superstitions. The author seems to have taken pains with his work, and to have availed himself of numerous sources of information. Three more volumes are in pre- paration; these will treat of the proto-historical period, the classical period, the post-classical period. Such a series will not be without its use.