It is a religion book. The system of religious belief which is generally called Hinduism is, on many accounts, Hinduism deserving of study, eminently deserving of study. If we desire to trace the history of the ancient religions of the widely extended Aryan or Indo-European race, to which we ourselves belong, we shall find in the earlier writings of the Hindus an exhibition of it decidedly more archaic even than that which is presented in the Homeric poems. Then, the growth—the historical development—of Hinduism is not less worthy of attention than its earlier phases. It has endured for upward of three thousand years, no Its antiquity doubt undergoing very important changes, yet in many things retaining its original spirit. The progress of the system has not been lawless; and it is exceedingly instructive to note the development, and, if possible, explain it. We are, then, to endeavor to study Hinduism chronologically. Unless he does so almost every man who tries to comprehend it is, at first, overwhelmed with a feeling of utter confusion and bewilderment. Hinduism spreads out before him as a vast river, or even what seems at first.