Patricia Hofer

Hannah Whitall Smith

Excerpt from Driving Into The Dawn, page 133

Hannah Whitall Smith—a 19th century writer and lay speaker for the Holiness movement.

Denominational believing can often seem to imply that consecration is something external, an outward rejection of worldly pleasures and desires and motives. But the battleground, the place that needs consecration, is actually in our hearts, in the part of ourselves that no one but the Lord will ever see. When we are consecrated there, our actions take care of themselves.

In her chapter “How To Enter In,” Smith says that a better word for consecration might be abandonment. Then she concludes:

But whatever word we use, we mean an entire surrender of the whole being to God,—spirit, soul, and body placed under His absolute control, for Him to do with us just what He pleases. (The Christian’s Secret Of A Happy Life 48)

Excerpt from Yielding To Wonder, page 26

Smith, who was raised a Quaker but who eventually became an influential evangelical, struggled in the way MacDonald did with this same doctrinal issue. She wrote in her autobiography that the generation before hers, and even still her own generation, grew up with the idea that God was “selfish” and self-absorbed, with “no love or pity to spare for the poor sinners who have offended Him” (The Unselfish of God 7). Her personal relationship with the Lord led her to conclude this:

Whatever Christ was, that God is. All the unselfishness, all the tenderness, all the kindness, all the justice, all the goodness, that we see in Christ is simply a revelation of the unselfishness, the tenderness, the kindness, the justice, the goodness, of God. (The Unselfish of God 9)

Clearly, Jesus didn’t limit his compassion and forgiveness only to a particular set of followers or a particular ethnic group or a particular time. So we can be assured that we are all and eternally God’s beloved and ordained children.