Hannah Whitall Smith

Quaker Holiness author


February 7, 1832
May 1, 1911


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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.

Works By Hannah Whitall Smith

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