Harmer, Thomas a learned dissenting divine of England, was born in Norwich in 1715, and became minister of a dissenting congregation at Wattesfield, Suffolk. He was much esteemed in the literary world for his attainments in Oriental literature and for his skill in antiquities. Availing himself of some MSS. of the celebrated Sir John Chardin, who had traveled into Persia and other Eastern countries, Harmer seized the idea of applying the information thus obtained to the illustration of many portions of the prophetical writings, and of the evangelists also. The first volume of the Observations on various Passages of Scripture appeared in 1764; in 1776 the work again made its appearance in two volumes octavo, and in 1787 were published two additional volumes; a fourth edition, in four volumes, was called for in a short time afterwards, and a fifth edition was edited by Adam Clarke (Lond. 1816, 4 vols. 8vo), with considerable additions and corrections, to which is prefixed a life of the author. Mr. Harmer also published Outlines of a new Commentary on Solomon's Song (Lond. 1768, 8vo); and a posthumous volume has appeared, entitled The Miscellaneous Works of the Rev. Thomas Harmer, with an introductory memoir by William Youngman (Lond. 1823, 8vo). Mr. Harmer died in 1788. — Jones, Christian Biography; Darling, Cyclopaedia Bibliographica, i, 400.