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Hanna Whitall Smith

1832-1911. Quaker author. Member of a pious Quaker family in Philadelphia, she is best known as the writer of The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life (1875) and as speaker with her husband, Robert Pearsall Smith, at interdenominational “Higher Christian Life” meetings in America and England. Undergoing early years of depression and skepticism, she was converted in 1858 under Plymouth Brethren influence at the same time as her husband, a Presbyterian layman. In 1867 she entered into a new experience of faith in Christ based upon Romans 6:6. She now testified to a life of spiritual victory and rest through complete commitment to Christ. Her husband, skeptical at first, later testified to the same experience and joined her as leader of Christian assemblies devoted to the study of biblical teaching on the life of victory in Christ. In 1872 they moved to England because of her husband's declining health. For two years they experienced phenomenal success in interdenominational meetings devoted to biblical exposition of their newfound religious experience. The movement thus initiated led to the founding of the Keswick Convention* in 1874, where annual sessions are still devoted to a consideration of biblical teaching on the higher life for the believing Christian.