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Hannah Whitall Smith

  • For the decisions of our will are often so directly opposed to the decisions of our emotions, that, if we are in the habit of considering our emotions as the test, we shall be very apt to feel like hypocrites in declaring those things to be real which our will alone has decided.

  • It is a fact beyond question that there are two kinds of Christian experience, one of which is an experience of bondage, and the other an experience of liberty.

  • Faith ... is nothing at all tangible. It is simply believing God; and, like sight, it is nothing apart from its object. You might as well shut your eyes and look inside, and see whether you have sight, as to look inside to discover whether you have faith.

  • If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straightway to become one. There is no fun for old people like it.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1889, in Ray Strachey, A Quaker Grandmother: Hannah Whitall Smith ()
  • I find that every soul that has travelled on this highway of holiness for any length of time, has invariably cut loose from its old moorings.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1876, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • I do not find that I feel myself to be any different as an English subject than as an American. I have not the vote in either place, so I am not a citizen of either, and have no call to be patriotic. In fact, I do not see how women can ever feel like anything but aliens in whatever country they may live, for they have no part or lot in any, except the part and lot of being taxed and legislated for by men.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1888, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • I wonder how many of our tombstones will have to be inscribed with the epitaph 'Died of too many meetings'?

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1891. in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • Somehow even tragedies seem less tragical, when you are the actors in them, than they look to outsiders

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1902, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • Thee may tell Aunt Janet from me that she might as well try to stop the stars in their courses as to try to stop a love affair.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1902, in Logan Pearsall Smith, e d., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • There is no happiness in the world equal to the happiness of being good.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1909, in Logan Pe arsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • It is hard for me to believe that any husband and wife are really happy together. And to have thee say you are is an unspeakable comfort.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1910, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • ... God is enough! All religion is enfolded for me now in these three words.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1901, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • My soul was always so full of aspirations, that a God was a necessity to me. I was like a bird with an instinct of migration upon me, and a country to migrate to was as essential as it is to the bird

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1902, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1902, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • I shall be glad to see thee back, daughter, for I miss thee dreadfully. I wish I did not! I was taking a nap in my chair today, and I thought I heard thee rustling thy papers, and I looked over at thy table expecting to see thee, and alas! thee was not there, and it was dreadful.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1906, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • Of all hateful occupations, housekeeping is to my mind the most hateful.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1905, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • And just here let me advise thee not to talk of thyself as being old. There is something in Mind Cure, after all, and, if thee continually talks of thyself as being old, thee may perhaps bring on some of the infirmities of age. At least I would not risk it if I were thee.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1907, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • Sarah, I want to ask thee a solemn question. Did thee ever one single time have thy Bank book balance and thy own check book balance agree exactly? Do not tell, but I never did. Hannah Whitall Smith, Sarah, I want to ask thee a solemn question. Did thee ever one single time have thy Bank book balance and thy own check book balance agree exactly? Do not tell, but I never did.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • letter to her sister, 1885, in Logan Pearsall Smith, ed., Philadelphia Quaker ()
  • For the mother is, and must be, whether she knows it or not, the greatest, strongest, and most lasting teacher her children have.

Hannah Whitall Smith, U.S. religious writer, evangelist, pacifist

(1832 - 1911)

Full name: Hannah Tatum Whitall Smith.