She was involved in the Millerite movement, and experienced the great disappointment in 1844, at the age of 16. After that, she turned to furthering her education and teaching. In 1851, her mother, who was becoming concerned over her daughter’s pursuit of mere secular success, at the suggestion of Joseph Bates (ex-Millerite and now Adventist preacher) told her daughter to attend a meeting that Bates was holding in Boston. The night before the meeting took place, Bates had a dream:
…every seat in the room was filled except one next to the door. The first hymn was sung, and then, just as he opened his Bible to preach, the door opened and a young lady entered, taking the last vacant chair.
Annie had an almost identical dream at the same time. The event occurred exactly as in the dream (Annie was intending to be on time, but lost her way to the meeting and arrived late). Bates, upon seeing her enter, turned his topic to the presentation of the Adventist view of the Hebrew sanctuary, which explained the disappointment of 1844. Annie was impressed with the meeting, and made a new commitment to the Advent faith.
A month later she submitted a poem, “Fear Not, Little Flock,” to the Advent Review paper. James White was impressed with her talent and immediately invited her to assist him as copy editor. She hesitated because her eyesight was poor. James said, “Come anyway!” She did, and shortly after arriving her eyesight problem was healed after anointing and prayer.
Over the next three and a half years she worked on the paper and submitted hymns and poetry to it as well.
1855 – Home Here, and Home in Heaven
This book of her poems, Home Here, and Home in Heaven, was completed 10 days before her death. She was the first poet of distinction in the early Seventh-day Adventist church.
For those who may be curious to know a few more details about the life of this interesting lady, here are three short articles that appeared in the Advent Review of 1976, 1986, and 1987:
Annie Smith’s poems could yield quite a few good songs. A few have been used in the past, such as The Scattered Flock (usually titled Long Upon the Mountains), How Far From Home?, and The Blessed Hope (also called I Saw One Weary).
There is yet another one which is also included in our church songbook: Be Patient.
But there are still some gems waiting to be mined from this precious store!
I have including a few of Annie’s poems as sub-pages under this page. I particularly chose those which clearly set forth the Advent truths, and were more accessible for use in hymns. She also wrote many longer poems, but these are beyond the scope of this website.
Here then are a selection of her better poems, which should be turned into hymns:
- Abide With Us
- Come to Jesus
- Forgive Thy Brother
- Joy Cometh
- Our Duty
- Sabbath Morning Hymn
- The Rock of Salvation
- The Sabbath
- The Sabbath (hymn)
- To My Mother and A Response
Tags: Annie Smith