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The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life

4.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,117 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Settle down on this one thing, wrote Hannah Whitall Smith, that Jesus came to save you now, in this life, from the power and dominion of sin, and to make you more than conquerors through His power. The exciting message of freedom-from the bondage of sin, to the life of Christ-is what has made The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life a favorite for more than a century. Smith' ...more
Paperback, 299 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Barbour Publishing (first published 1883)
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Jun 15, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians who desire meat!
This title really seems a bit trite for the magnitude of wisdom and mature Christian discipleship which it's pages contain.
Plan to be enlightened (seeing biblical principles and scripture in a new way-even though the book was authored in 1875). Plan to be challenged (all our modern self focused-self absorbed Christianity is refuted bit by bit). After all this we see through a clearer glass, a more simple Christian life which does indeed bring happiness- or what I would refer to as true biblical
Dec 28, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
This book is not for any but the true seeker of knowledge because the author's language is dated and difficult to follow. For me, it was a gem. The author answered many questions that I did not know I had about my spiritual life. Questions like "If I have truly turned my life over to Christ, why am I still so flawed?" and "How does one really "turn your burden over to him?" I know why it has been a Christian best seller for 150 years. I love her approach to Christianity. The chapters are really ...more
Oct 08, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is walking the Christian life.
Recommended to Sue by: Cheryl Harlow
I have read this book a number of times. It is one of my favorite books. Miss Smith has a wonderful way of looking at the Christian life. She is able to look at real life and talk about how we as christians are to walk in it. This is not always easy, but I have found that her answers to common situations a christian faces are biblically sound and very practical and useful. I get new insight on how to continue in this life every time I read it. I would encourage any christian to read it and see h ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this some years before and was not all that impressed, but this reading earned the book a top rating. There was so much wisdom. The book was definitely clear on the difference in salvation and discipleship. The secret is rest in God's provision and discipline in daily living. It was clear what God has done for us and what we need to do to obey Him.

"He disciplines and trains by inward exercises and outward providences."

"What are the chief characteristics of a little child, and how does it
Aug 08, 2008 Beckynovacek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is in my list of top 10 books. i'll always have a copy or two on my bookshelves.
Mar 22, 2014 Leanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book written so many years ago is still 'on the money' and relevant today. Throughout the ages there are clearly people who really have 'got it' and yet generally speaking, overall, we just don't seem to get it. It seems like we as a people are still drinking milk and have never, and, at times, it feels like, will never, get to the solid food.

How do we - as a people, not as individuals - 'get it'? I guess at the end of the day that is not our responsibility. It is in fact God's. All that is
Dec 31, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Sin and repent. Sin and repent. Sin and repent. Did Jesus sacrifice himself on the cross to give us eternal life in the future and leave us under the power of Satan in our present lives, repeatedly subject to his lies and deception and suffering the consequences of sin? The Hannah Whitall Smith book Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life reminds Christians we have the power to live free from sin. She points out that Christ removed the curse, power, and love of sin from us and gave us the power to li ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Amber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
This book is overly simplistic. If you are looking for easy answers to complex issues, even if they are near impossible to accomplish, then you will love this book. I was looking for encouragement in this text, but I instead spent too much time discussing with my husband the logical roadblocks contained within its pages. Which led me to ask, "who is this woman, and why am I reading her book?" After reading a brief biography, I realized this woman must have doubted her own propositions as much as ...more
Rachel Ramm
Feb 09, 2011 Rachel Ramm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is such an encouragement, treating common spiritual difficulties practically. The tone is like a good friend, compassionate yet for your own good is not afraid to tell you what you're doing wrong. I especially appreciated the chapters addressing the unfortunate tendency for people to use their feelings/emotions to gauge how they are doing spiritually or even to know what they believe. Smith does a great job clearing this up, and even uses the analogy of a mother-child relationship to d ...more
Jul 02, 2013 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just completed this precious book for the fifth time and found it to be life-transforming once again. It contains such simple yet deeply profound Truth while also containing many excellent practical helps. I know I shall reread this book throughout my life and should also be understood in the context of the author's own highly challenging life and times (especially for women); it truly is one of my top five must reads for any Christian who truly wants to live a victorious, fulfilled and h ...more
Stephanie Blake
Aug 18, 2010 Stephanie Blake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely one of my favorites. She tackles the hard spiritual questions.From the very beginning of that Christian classic, my thoughts were molded by her teaching. Although this book is still in print and for sale, you can also read it online. I especially recommend the first chapter: God’s Side and Man’s Side. To paraphrase the author, God’s part is to do all the work, your part and my part is to trust Him.
Jan 27, 2013 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
This is one of those read-every-year books. Depending on where you're at in your life, you will always take away something new and different from it after you've read it. Written in the late 1800's, sometimes the prose is a little complicated, but sticking with it, one will glean much from the book.
Peggy Parsons
It's a classic so is should be phenomenal, but I read her biography in the front of the book before reading her spiritual advice and thought, didn't she believe what she'd written? Dampened the impact it might have had.
Noreen Fredriksen
The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life was originally published in 1883. That is impressive that it is still in print and having a good impact on so many people's lives. I enjoyed her insight and analogies.
Lisa Morrow
Sep 01, 2012 Lisa Morrow rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: christianity
This was one of the best books I have ever read, besides the Bible! I could read it over and over again. It was first published in 1870. God used Hannah Whitall Smith to impart such wisdom through this book.
Mar 25, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
This book is a classic! It reminds me of C. S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" and challenges the reader to trust in God and to discover the true secrets to happiness. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!
Jun 30, 2009 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not presented in a ten easy steps-type format, thank goodness. After a while that gets pretty tiring. This book is based directly from scripture and was written by a Quaker.
Sep 07, 2013 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is In my All-Time Top Ten list for practical theology (would like a better term for this). If you're looking for peace and purpose read this, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Aaron Miller
Nov 11, 2015 Aaron Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book encouraging and challenging. However, I think it is worth mentioning that Smith has a perspective which provides great insight but probably does not capture all aspects of the Christian experience. It portrays and illustrates the power of surrender and trust in God. As the intro to my edition said, Smith had nothing in common with the author of Ecclesiastes who said "all is vanity." To her the Christian life has a beautiful simplicity, and there was no need to complicate it. I ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in old English and can be difficult to follow, but I found it quite helpful. It is considered a Christian classic.
Jan 10, 2012 Hannah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holy-moly
I was thrilled when Ben found an old copy of this at a bookseller's in Boston. I'd long heard about it, and having a hardback, thick-paged, decades-old version seemed to give it even more weight. It's interesting to read this as a reflection of its time, with its answer to any doubts or troubles in life simply being, "believe more." It seems that now, the conversation in Christian and theological circles has turned, viewing doubt as not necessarily a bad thing. I find myself feeling in between: ...more
Connie Adams
Jul 24, 2012 Connie Adams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: classic
This book, " The Christians Secret Of A Happy Life" by Hannah Whiteall Smith, has had a profound effect upon my life. I read it first time in the 50's from a very worn copy given to me by one of the elders, who was a founder and charter member of the church I was attending, knowing I was seeking to better know God and walk in happiness. It made an impression on my mind & heart but as I grew older I visited it many times finding as I matured as a woman and spiritually, it had deeper meaning. ...more
Todd Luallen
Jul 15, 2016 Todd Luallen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A old classic that is written by an incredible woman of faith. Every page seemed to have something I wanted to highlight and remember. I'm sure I'll be coming back to these notes again just to go over them and meditate on them. A great book for a devotional, as each chapter is probably a 5-10 minute read. I love reading about the life of the 19th Century believer, because when I read about problems they had back then, that we still have today, I feel a connection with them. But I also like readi ...more
May 29, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Except for the 1870's language, this was a great I will refer to as needed I am sure.

Divided into sections, I want to secure here some of the standout statements... the first section is called "The Life" - "In the divine order, God's working depends upon our cooperation" "From beginning to end, God is the giver and we are the receivers." "Faith is the next thing after surrender."

"Difficulties" - "Cease to consider your emotions, they are only servants" "Doubts and discouragements
Aug 19, 2016 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I can see why this is regarded as a classic by some, because some of the chapters and content is quite good - although the rest is not so. The book is a bit floaty some times, using way to much adjectives and words to describe the menaing or the nature of more simple concepts and thus fail to properly explain things. This combined with the type of language used, it simply was mostly boring to read - especially in the way I read it - out of curiosity.

It may be that If you read one chapter a day
Rick Boyer
A very helpful devotional volume, full of wisdom for the living of the Christian life; written by an ancestor of one of our church members. Some of the suggestions/encouragements to pious and holy living, while true and worthy, are occasionally presented in a way that makes them seem easier to accomplish than they actually are; at least in our twenty-first century world. But one point that the author makes that is very, very helpful is her emphasis on the fact that the life of growing faith is a ...more
Debra Fenton
May 28, 2016 Debra Fenton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful writing

Oh how this book help me understand better about God, He being with us always, never leaving us or forsaking us but always, in every situation,each moment of our life's, God is there. Praise His Holy Name !
Pamela Strickland
Jan 21, 2016 Pamela Strickland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncomplicated and very refreshing, I found this book a good gift to give to those struggling with God's will and His grace for us when we feel anxious about whether we are in it (His will) or not.
May 03, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant to read this, but a couple of my friends rated it well so I thought it was worth trying. I was so pleasantly surprised and I can't remember the last time I was so influenced by a book. The perspective she opened up and the analogies she gave were new, yet familiar. I have been a Christian my entire life, so I didn't expect to get much out of it, but was humbled to realize that I have much more to learn. After I finished the first few chapters I thought she would just go over the s ...more
Aug 24, 2016 Trace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10+ stars.

This is EASILY the most important book I've read all year.... maybe in a few years!
I used almost ALL of my book darts (keeping track of the parts I wanted to copy into my journal and comment on).... Loved this book SO so very much.
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Goodreads Librari...: Needs combining? 3 24 Sep 02, 2012 02:25AM  
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Hannah Whitall Smith was a speaker and author in the Holiness movement in the United States and the Higher Life movement in the United Kingdom. She was also active in the Women's suffrage movement and the Temperance movement, helping found the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Hannah was no stranger to the difficulties of life. Although she had seven children in all, only three survived to adult
More about Hannah Whitall Smith...

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“It is a law of the spiritual life that every act of trust makes the next act less difficult. Trusting becomes like breathing, the natural unconciousness of the redeemed soul.” 8 likes
“put together all the tenderest love you know of, multiply it by infinity and you will begin to see glimpses of the love and grace of God.” 4 likes
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