Rebekah Smith (1794-1875) was the mother of Annie and Uriah Smith. Her family believed the Advent message in the Millerite movement in 1844. After the disappointment, her children lost interest for a time. She accepted the seventh-day Sabbath after hearing Joseph Bates present it in 1851. She faithfully continued to encourage her children in Bible truth and experience, and was responsible for requesting that her daughter Annie attend a meeting where she met Joseph Bates under very remarkable circumstance, leading to her accepting the Sabbath.
Rebekah Smith has been described as “a lady of culture and fine sensibilities, also of a lively disposition, tempered by her piety” (Spalding).
Although she stands in the shadow of her children, a book she published in 1871 shows that her grasp of the spiritual truths of the Advent message, and her gift to express them in sacred verse, were substantial. It is no doubt due to her godly influence that both her children played a prominent role in the development of the early Adventist church.
Therefore, it is fitting that we devote a section to her, and re-animate some of her lovely hymns. We know of these hymns because of a book she published:
1871 – Poems: with a Sketch of the Life and Experience of Annie R. Smith
After the initial publication of Annie’s poems shortly after her death, her mother was requested by friends to prepare a sketch of her daughter’s life and a collection of her own poems. For reasons unknown, this took much longer than planned, but she eventually completed and published the work in 1871, about fifteen years after the request was first made. She also included a few more poems from her children, Annie and Uriah. The Preface reads as follows:
A small volume of poems entitled, “Home Here and Home in Heaven,” by Annie R. Smith, appeared shortly after her death, in 1855. Her numerous friends wishing some account of her life and last sickness, have from time to time desired me to prepare such a sketch for publication. I have also been requested to publish in connection therewith, a collection of my own poetical efforts. This is the immediate occasion of the appearance of the present volume, the publication of which, circumstances have conspired to delay till the present time. It lays no claim to literary merit, but professes to be only a description in rhyme of some of the ordinary experiences of life, and the common feelings of the heart. I have appended some additional pieces written by Annie R. Smith, and some by Uriah Smith, which I have desired to see published in this form. It is commended to the charitable consideration of friends, with the hope that its appearance may prove a gratification and a benefit to some.
– Mrs. Rebekah Smith, West Wilton, NH
The website Archive.org has a copy of this work which you can view or download here: Poems: with a Sketch, or view it in the iframe below:
I have included a few of Rebekah Smith’s poems from this volume as sub-pages to this page. They are of excellent quality, and are crying out to be set to music and sung!
As I pondered some of these texts, I was impressed with how clearly she grasped the end-time truths of the commandments of God, the faith of Jesus which delivers from sin, the health reform message, the Laodicean message, and the perfecting of the saints. She was truly a “mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7).
- “Brother, Live!”
- Christian Submission
- Deny Thyself
- Go Forward
- Overcoming Sin
- Preparation for Heaven
- Safety in the Lord
- Sustaining Grace
- The Bond of Peace
- The Christian’s Triumph
- The Coming Day
- The Health Institute
- The Hour of Judgment
- The Latter Rain
- The Remnant Church
- The Slave of Appetite
- The Work of Reform
- They Who Love the Law
- Will You be a Pilgrim?
- Worldly Sorrow