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Commentary on Psalms (Geneva)


A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks

Although more than six hundred commentators have written on the Psalms, it has long been difficult to find a comprehensive treatment of this book of Scripture in one volume. Some expositions have excelled in scholarship, but, unlike the Psalter, in instructing the mind they have failed to exercise the heart. Dr. Plumer’s Commentary avoids this defect, the author believing that from the Psalms ‘piety has derived more nourishment than from any other source,’ and that his work should serve that same purpose. In 1211 pages he gives both exposition and doctrinal and practical remarks and presents in readable form a great wealth of material drawn from all the leading commentators who had gone before him. In the opinion of Dr John Macleod of Edinburgh, he succeeded in producing the best single volume on this book of Scripture.

Graduating from Princeton Seminary in 1826, Plumer was a well-known Southern Presbyterian preacher and writer who spent the last thirteen years of his life as a Professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, South Carolina. He produced his exposition of the Psalms during the prime of life, and, as he tells us, ‘never felt more disposed to any work.’ In the opinion of others, Dr Plumer was outstanding as a spiritual Christian: ‘His prayers,’ wrote Moses D. Hoge, ‘were the tender pleadings of a soul in communion with God.’ Of the place which the Psalms had in his own experience he writes: ‘During a Christian and ministerial life, neither short, uneventful, nor free from dark days and sharp sorrows, the author has never been able to secure to himself, or administer to others, full support and abounding consolation without a resort to the Psalms.’

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About the Author

Minister, author, and theological professor, William Swan Plumer (1802-80) was one of Princeton Theological Seminary’s most well-known students. Born in Griersburg, Pennsylvania, Plumer would graduate from Washington College in Virginia in 1825. Following a year of study at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1826, Plumer began a very active and diverse ministerial career.

During the first several years of Plumer’s ministry he helped organize and found churches in Danville, Virginia and Warrenton, North Carolina. After several years of itinerant preaching ministry, he served as a resident pastor in Petersburg, Virginia from 1831 to 1834, and in Richmond, Virginia between the years of 1835 and 1846. During his Richmond pastorate, Plumer founded a religious weekly, the Watchman of the South, and an institution to assist the deaf, dumb, and blind.

In 1847, Plumer accepted a pastoral call to Baltimore, Maryland. After eight years of ministry with the congregation there, Plumer became pastor of a church in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where he also served as a professor at Western Theological Seminary. Plumer relocated to the Philadelphia area in the mid-1860s. He assisted a congregation in Pottsville, 1865-66, at which time he received appointment to serve as Professor of Didactic and Polemic Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. He served in this position until 1875, when he was transferred to the chair of Historic, Casuistic, and Pastoral Theology. He held this position until shortly before his death.

Plumer was a prolific author and active churchman. His published works include commentaries, biblical studies, articles, essays, sermons, and a volume on pastoral theology. His writings, while profoundly theological in nature, are very practical in focus. A number of his books have remained in print; they represent a high point in the theological-devotional literature produced of nineteenth century American Presbyterianism.

As a churchman, Plumer had the rare distinction of serving as Moderator of the General Assembly of the undivided Presbyterian denomination (1838) and of its southern branch (1871). In his life and work, William S. Plumer embodied Princeton Theological Seminary s vision for an intelligent and informed piety that rested on the theological foundations of Scripture and the Westminster Standards.

Weight4.8 lbs
Dimensions7 × 2.5 × 10.1 in


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