• “I entreat you, give no place to despondency. This is a dangerous temptation–a refined, not a gross temptation of the adversary. Melancholy contracts and withers the heart, and renders it unfit to receive the impressions of grace. It magnifies and gives a false colouring to objects, and thus renders your burdens too heavy to bear. God’s designs regarding you, and His methods of bringing about these designs, are infinitely wise.” – Madame Guyon

Hannah Whitall Smith

(1832-1911), Quaker Holiness author

Hanna was raised in a strict Quaker home and was given to morbid introspection that found little relief until her marriage to Robert Piersall Smith in 1851. They were both converted under Plymouth Brethren influence in 1858 and in 1867 had a new experience of faith that propelled them on a speaking tour of the United States and Europe. Their “Higher Christian Life” meetings in England were exceedingly popular, partly because of D. L. Moody’s success there.

They remained in England due to Robert’s declining health and observed the founding of the Keswick Convention in 1874, an outgrowth of their conferences. Trouble followed, however. Robert began to entertain notions of spiritual wifery, was criticized, and eventually claimed to be a Buddhist.

Hannah was the author of the spiritual classic, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life (1875) and later developed ideas on the final restitution of all things, diverted herself into social causes and writing. She produced The Unselfishness of God and How I Discovered It in 1903. A year later she was stricken with arthritis. Although confined to a wheelchair and in much pain, she maintained an optimistic spiritual outlook until her death.

She had seven children in all, but only three—Mary, Alys Pearsall, and Logan Pearsall—survived to adulthood.

Books by Hannah Whitall Smith

The Unselfishness of God and How I Discovered It; a spiritual autobiograpy (1903)

The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life(1916)

The God of All Comfort and the Secret of His Comforting (1906)

Everyday Religion Or The Common Sense Teaching of the Bible

John M. Whitall, the story of his life (1879)


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The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. — Psalm 121:7-8 (NKJV)

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