Item description for Christians Secret Of A Happy Life by Smith Hannah...
Overview You can live a happy life---blessed, assured, and victorious! First published more than 130 years ago, this uplifting classic has inspired and encouraged generations of believers. Walk alongside Smith, a Bible-believing Quaker "rebel realist," and discover how you, too, can exchange doubt and unhappiness for certainty, serenity, and confidence.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 4.8" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2005
Publisher Barbour Publishing Company
ISBN 1593107072 ISBN13 9781593107079
Reviews - What do customers think about Christians Secret Of A Happy Life?
One of the Best Nov 3, 2008
One of the best Christian books I have read. It may seem "old school" because it was written a long time ago, but deep truths transcend time.
Archaic title for a classic work on Christian Spirituality Sep 6, 2008
My review is in response to a very "sad" review written from an already established position. The reviewer (I think Tim Challies) gives us what he thinks is the thrust of the book, "What must the Christian DO in his quest for VICTORY?," then offers his simplistic review of Hannah Smith's response, "NOTHING." Challies then sums up Smith's work with his critique of "the man-centered and subjective age in which we live," and puts Smith in this category. This is an amazingly simplistic (and ignorant) summation by an educated person - this is why I think it betrays "an already established position."
Hannah Smith lived in the latter half of the 19th century - the terms "happy" and "gay" had different meanings in common use than what we have today. A better title for this book would be "The Christian's Secret to a Joyful Life," but we cannot retitle the work.
Smith is writing to refute the basic practical theology of her strict Quaker background which apparently leaned heavily on the force of a person's determined will and discipline to gain freedom from sin. Many of us have seen how this emphasis, while possibly effective in the life of one generation, can lead to dead works and dry religion in the following generations that lack the intense affections of the initial leaders and have only been given the "right doctrine" to live by.
Let's allow Hannah Smith to speak for herself;
========================== The most difficult thing we have to manage is self....In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament...all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there. He made you, and therefore He understands you and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it. Say to Him, "Here, Lord, I abandon myself to thee. I have tried in every way I could think of to manage myself, and to make myself what I know I ought to be, but have always failed. Now I give it up to thee. Do thou take entire possession of me....And here you must rest, trusting yourself thus to Him continually and absolutely....
Perfect obedience would be perfect happiness.... Consecration is the first thing....In order for a lump of clay to be made into a beautiful vessel, it must be entirely abandoned to the potter, and must lie passive in his hands. And in order for a soul to be made into a vessel unto God's honor, "sanctified and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work," it must be entirely abandoned to Him, and must lie passive in His hands....
Oh, be generous in your self-surrender! Meet His measureless devotion for you, with a measureless devotion to Him. Be glad and eager to throw yourself headlong into His dear arms, and to hand over the reins of government to Him. Whatever there is of you, let Him have it all. Give up forever everything that is separate from Him. Consent to resign from this time forward all liberty of choice... (I cannot find my copy and have used the online version) ==========================
This is far from doing NOTHING. Smith's focus is on the most difficult aspect of living for God - the abandonment of YOUR will. She maintains that IF you can truly abandon yourself (I do not think this can be done 100% of the time anyway) God will do His work in you. In the past, some 20 years ago when I first read this book, I wondered if Watchman Nee had read Hannah Smith. In his little powerful book, "Sit, Walk, Stand" he says this,
"If at the outset we try to do anything, we get nothing...For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE." p.14 (Tyndale, 1977)
Maybe Challies believes that Nee also distorted scripture here (I should confess that I am not a fan of everything Nee writes).
Again, Challies: "God calls Christians, not to happiness, but to holiness." Smith's comments on "perfect obedience would be perfect happiness" directly address this accusation. Did Challies really even read Smith's book? It is difficult for me to think so. "The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life" is far from the "self-help psychobabel" label Challies gives to it.
It is true that Hannah Smith did not have a "happy" life. She had some marital issues and an unfaithful husband; she seems to have suffered some depression; and her theology was not always orthodox - she apparently struggled with the concept of eternal punishment (like Origen!). Nonetheless, this book by Hannah Smith has remained a Christian classic for a reason - it is challenging and good.
And by the way, Hannah Smith did die in great misery - she suffered from arthritis during the final years of her life.
R.A. Baker Ph.D. Ecclesiastical History
Poor condition from packing and shipping May 13, 2008
I received 3 new books from this site with the super saver shipping. When they arrived, they were in a large box with only a little bit of that inlatable packing on the top-nothing to keep the books from shifting around. Nothing around the books or between the books.
A christian's Secret to a Happy Life arrived with the binding crushed on one end from not being adequately protected in the box.
Love the book, not happy with the shoddy packing.
The "secret" every Christian needs to know Apr 27, 2008
So many Christians struggle with every day life--just like the rest of the world. While some secrets place all the power on "self," which fails us more often than not, this one places all the power in God's hands where it belongs. This timeless classic stays relevant because it communicates biblical truths that make a difference for all eternity.
A Must Read for Any Christian Apr 10, 2008
There are very few treatises on the Christian life written with more insight, humility, and honesty.
It is not an easy read, Ms Smith is writing in the language of her day, which is above the eighth grade level used in today's books. It is worthy of your efforts, however. The exercise for your brain, soul, and spirit will do you some good.
Kudos to Whitaker House for keeping this important book in print.