Returning to an Old Friend: William S. Plumer on Psalms

Tomorrow evening at First Presbyterian Church Yazoo City I begin a series of sermons on the Psalms. One of the highlights of preparing to preach Psalm 1 is returning to an old and trusted friend, William S. Plumer’s Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks. His exposition is faithful to the text, and his doctrinal and practical remarks are full of  the pastoral wisdom that makes for solid sermon applications.

Since I purchased this book in the early 1990s, it has been my “go to” commentary on Psalms.

Nuggets from this week’s reading:

“The sum of [Psalm 1] is that the just and he alone is blessed.”

“However tried and afflicted, every servant of God has vast treasures of good things in possession and in prospect.”

“A man’s walk is the course of his life. When the tenor of one’s ways is like that of the wicked, he is wicked.”

“A good man loves the decalogue, because it is the transcript of God’s moral character.”

“It has ever been and will ever be true that if men would be saved, they must forsake bad company.”

“It is not wonder that the truly pious grow in purity. Their thoughts dwell on the most ennobling themes.”

“. . . the righteous man is on the side of duty. He honestly intends and endeavors to do what is right, because it is right and obligatory.”

“Seldom do men forsake a wicked life, until they are convinced of its misery.”

“Of all the follies of men none  can be worse than that of hiding from themselves their true condition and character.”

One of the most satisfying aspects of ministry is sermon preparation, for with it comes the opportunity in study to receive the counsel of old friends. I enthusiastically recommend William S. Plumer’s commentary to my RTS students.


– William S. Plumer, Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary with Doctrinal and Practical Remarks. 1867. Carlise, PA: Banner of Truth, 1990.

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