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| Christian Classics: The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life|
[u]The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life[/u]
In a thousand ways He makes this offer of oneness with Himself to every believer. But all do not say "Yes," to Him. Other loves and other interests seem to them too precious to be cast aside. They do not miss of Heaven because of this. But they miss an unspeakable joy.
You, however, are not one of these. From the very first your soul has cried out eagerly and gladly to all His offers, "Yes, Lord; yes!" You are more than ready to pour out upon Him all your richest treasures of love and devotedness. You have brought to Him an enthusiasm of self-surrender that perhaps may disturb and distress the more prudent and moderate Christians around you. Your love makes necessary a separation from the world, which a lower love cannot even conceive of. Sacrifices and services are possible and sweet to you, which could not come into the grasp of a more half-hearted devotedness. The life upon which you have entered gives you the right to a lavish outpouring of your all upon your beloved One. Services, of which more distant souls know nothing, become now your sweetest privilege. Your Lord claims from you, because of your union with Him, far more than He claims of them. What to them is lawful, love has made unlawful for you. To you He can make known His secrets, and to you He looks for an instant response to every requirement of His love.
Oh, it is wonderful! the glorious, unspeakable privilege upon which you have entered! How little it will matter to you if men shall hate you, or shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil for His dear sake! You may well "rejoice in that day and leap for joy"; for behold your reward is great in Heaven, and if you are a partaker of His suffering, you shall be also of His glory.
In you He is seeing of the travail of His soul, and is satisfied. Your love and devotedness are His precious reward for all He has done for you. It is unspeakably sweet to Him. Do not be afraid then to let yourself go in a heart-whole devotedness to your Lord, that can brook no reserves. Others may not approve, but He will, and that is enough. Do not stint or measure your obedience or your service. Let your heart and your hand be as free to serve Him, as His heart and His hand were to serve you. Let Him have all there is of you, body, soul, and spirit, time, talents, voice, everything. Lay your whole life open before Him that He may control it. Say to Him each day, "Lord, how shall I regulate this day so as to please Thee? Where shall I go? what shall I do? whom shall I visit? what shall I say?" Give your intellect up into His control and say, "Lord, tell me how to think so as to please Thee?" Give Him your reading, your pursuits, your friendships, and say, "Lord, give me the insight to judge concerning all these things with Thy wisdom." Do not let there be a day nor an hour in which you are not intelligently doing His will, and following Him wholly. And this personal service to Him will give a halo to your life, and gild the most monotonous existence with a heavenly glow.
Have you ever grieved that the romance of youth is so soon lost in the hard realities of the world? Bring God thus into your life and into all its details, and a far grander enthusiasm will thrill your soul than the brightest days of youth could ever know, and nothing will seem hard or stern again. The meanest life will be glorified by this. Often, as I have watched a poor woman at her wash-tub, and have thought of all the disheartening accessories of such a life, and have been tempted to wonder why such lives need to be, there has come over me, with a thrill of joy, the recollection of this possible glorification of it, and I have said to myself, Even this life, lived in Christ, and with Christ, following Him whithersoever He may lead, would be filled with an enthusiasm that would make every hour of it glorious. And I have gone on my way comforted to know that God's most wondrous blessings thus lie in the way of the poorest and the meanest lives. "For," says our Lord Himself, "whosoever," whether they be rich or poor, old or young, bond or free, "whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother."
by Hannah Whitall Smith -from Chapter 16 "The Joy of Obedience"
Borrowed from: [url=http://www.enterhisrest.org/]http://www.enterhisrest.org/[/url]
| 2004/6/10 7:59||Profile|
| Re: Christian Classics: The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life|
Oh, the simplicity of this book- yet so hard for people to think this is enough. Here is wisdom:
Let Him have all there is of you, body, soul, and spirit, time, talents, voice, everything. Lay your whole life open before Him that He may control it. Say to Him each day, "Lord, how shall I regulate this day so as to please Thee? Where shall I go? what shall I do? whom shall I visit? what shall I say?" Give your intellect up into His control and say, "Lord, tell me how to think so as to please Thee?" Give Him your reading, your pursuits, your friendships, and say, "Lord, give me the insight to judge concerning all these things with Thy wisdom." Do not let there be a day nor an hour in which you are not intelligently doing His will, and following Him wholly. And this personal service to Him will give a halo to your life, and gild the most monotonous existence with a heavenly glow.
Here is my favorite passage from Smith:
Most Christians are like a man who was toiling along the road, bending under a heavy burden, when a wagon overtook him, and the driver kindly offered to help him on his journey.
He joyfully accepted the offer but when seated in the wagon, continued to bend beneath his burden, in which he still kept on his shoulders.
"Why do you not lay down your burden?" asked the kind-hearted driver.
"Oh!" replied the man, "I feel that it is almost too much to ask you to carry me, and I could not think of letting you carry my burden too."
And so Christians, who have given themselves into the care and keeping of the Lord Jesus still continue to bend beneath the weight of their burdens, and often go weary and heavy-laden throughtout the whole length of their journey.
When I speak of burdens, I mean everything that troubles us, whether spiritual or temporal.
I mean, first of all, ourselves. The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self; the most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daily living, our frames and feelings,
our especial weaknesses and temptations, our peculiar temperaments, our inward affairs of every kind, - these are the things that perplex
and worry us more than anything else, and bring us most frequently into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is your self.
You must hand yourself, with your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feelings, and all your inward and outward experiences,
over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave it all 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. Work in me all the good pleasure of thy will.Mold and fashion me into such a vessel as seemeth good to thee.
I leave myself in thy hands, and I believe thy wilt, according to thy promises, make me into a vessel unto thy own honor,sanctified,
and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work."
And here you must rest, trusting yourself thus to Him, continually and absolutely.
Do you recollect the delicious sense of rest with which you have sometimes gone to bed at night after a day of great exertion and weariness? How delightful was the sensation of relaxing every muscle, and letting your body go in a perfect abandonment of ease and comfort!
The strain of the day had ceased, for a few hours at least, and the work of the day had been laid off. You no longer had to hold up an aching head or a weary back. You trusted yourself to the bed in an absolute confidence,
and it held you up, without effort, or strain, or even thought, on your part. You rested!
But suppose you had doubted the strength or the stability of your bed, and had dreaded each moment to find it giving way beneath you
and landing you on the floor; could you have rested then? Would not every muscle have been strained in a fruitless effort to
hold yourself up, and would not the weariness have been greater than if you had not gone to bed at all?
Let this analogy teach you what it means to rest in the Lord. Let your souls lie down upon the couch of His sweet will, as your bodies lie down in their beds at night. Relax every strain, and lay off every burden. Let yourself go in perfect abandonment of ease and comfort, sure that, since He holds you up, you are perfectly safe.
Your part is simply to rest. His part is to sustain you; and He cannot fail.
Thanks for bringing this up, Mike!
| 2004/6/10 9:31||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
Quote:Amen, this book has been a blessing in my life also. It's a great book if you are going through trials and trying circumstances. Here's a tidbit for you Mike: Hannah Whitall Smith the author was part of the "Holiness" movement. :eek: another one!
Thanks for bringing this up, Mike!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/6/10 10:07||Profile|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Here is an excerpt from Philip Yancey's [i]Reaching For The Invisible God.[/i] Only the first paragraph is directly related to HWS, but I have retained the following passages so that the point of Yancey might not be lost. I have personally received much help from HWS's book, but Yancey's reminder is also important, lest we fall into self-deception.
Hannah Whitall Smith, whose book [i]The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life[/i] beckoned millions of Victorian-era readers upward to a higher plane of living, never found much happiness herself. Her husband, a famous evangelist, concocted a new formula for ecstasy that satisfied spiritual longings with sexual thrills. Later, he drifted into a pattern of serial adultery and denied the faith. Hannah stayed with him, growing disillusioned and embittered. None of her children kept the faith. One daughter married the philosopher Bertrand Russell and became an atheist like her husband. Russell's own depictions of his mother-in-law describe anything but a victorious woman.
Contemporary author Eugene Peterson attended in his adolescence a religious conference where people met by a lake each summer. They had fiery spiritual intensity and used phrases like "deeper life" and "second blessing." As he watched these people's lives, however, he noticed little continuity between the exuberance at the conference grounds and everyday life in town. "The mothers of our friends who were [mean] before were [mean] still. Mr. Billington, our history teacher, held in such veneration at the center, never relinquished his position in the high school as the most mean-spirited of all our teachers."
I mention these failures not to dampen anyone's faith but to add a dose of realism to spiritual propaganda that promises more than it can deliver. In an odd way the very failures of the church prove its doctrine. Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part. We in the church have humility and contrition to offer the world, not a formula for success. Almost alone in our success-oriented society, we admit that we have failed, are failing, and always will fail. The church in A.D. 3000 will be as rife with problems as the church in A.D. 2000 or 1000. That is why we turn to God so desperately.
"The Christian has a great advantage over other men," said C.S. Lewis, "not by being less fallen than they, nor less doomed to live in fallen world, but by knowing that he is a fallen man in a fallen world." That recognition forms my starting point in undertaking a journey to know God.
| 2004/6/15 16:08||Profile|