17 JANUARY 1863, Page 24


The Song of Songs : a revised translation, with introduction and com- mentary. By J. F. Thrupp, M.A. (Macmillan and Co.)—In 1857 Mr. C. D. Ginsburg published a translation and exposition of the Song of Solomon, which he regards, in common with some of the best Conti- nental critics, including 31. Renan, as a poem celebrating the triumph of faithful love, in the person of a shepherdess betrothed to a shepherd, over the temptations of a more splendid alliance. The English reader has now the opportunity of hearing the other side of the question, as stated by an equally competent scholar in the present volume, which is a defence of the common or allegorical interpretation. Mr. Thrupp's tone is perhaps too much that of a partizan ; nor can we at all sympathize with his feeling for what he somewhat affectedly calls the "churchly" interpretation as such, or echo his wish that the Church may "yet speak out" in support of it. The voice of the Church is not to be gathered from the Biblical criticism of the first few centuries, nor is it represented nowadays by the modern English clergy ; so far as it speaks by individuals, it speaks by Mr. Ginsburg no less than by Mr. Thrupp. We say this simply in the interest of theological candour, not with any wish to make ourselves parties in the controversy. Meantime it is satisfactory to remark that Mr. Thrupp, like Dr. Ellicott, has really studied the expositions of different schools, though his sympathies are less wide than his reading. In one respect, indeed, he departs consider- ably from the received view, denying that Solomon is more than the allegorical subject of the Song, which he contends with considerable ingenuity to have been written about 100 years after Solomon's death, between the 45th Psalm and the prophecy of Hosea.