The Most Famous Female Fountarian

Posted May 23, 2010 by Bobby B in Trinity Hits: 6,276

When we think of famous female Adventists we naturally think of Ellen G. White.  Yet this article is not about her.  Mrs. White had a very close Adventist friend.  This friend was well known and influential for she was the co-founder, and national evangelist for the Christian Women's Temperance Union.

This famous women "came as a patient to the Battle Creek Sanitarium in 1896, and through healing and  study  became a convert to the faith of the Second Advent and  the  Sabbath.  Her health restored, she found a field for active, patient, withal brilliant service as counselor to the thousands of women in the church who were wives and mothers. Through a voluminous correspondence and much active field work, she formed them into an organization called the Woman's Gospel Work, which began to function with zeal and energy in a thousand  quarters.  Mrs. Henry was welcomed into the service of the church and greatly encouraged by letters from Mrs. White.  The spiritual affinity between these two women of Christian experience was deep and lasting.  Mrs. Henry contributed to the literature of the church some valuable books, chief of which was her Studies in Home and Child Life.  Other books were her Good Form and Christian Etiquette, Studies in Christian Principles, and The Abiding Spirit.  The service of Mrs. Henry, however, was cut short by her death in 1900."  (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/OH/OH1962-03__B.pdf#view=fit  pg. 200)  Yes, Mrs. S.M.I. Henry wrote the book "The Abiding Spirit" in 1899.  Notice the glowing advertisement for her book in "the Review and Herald" the same year:

"OUR  LATEST  BOOK, One That Will Help You.  Have you seen a copy of the latest  book  issued by the Review and Herald Pub. Co. ?  Its title is 'The Abiding  Spirit.'  In this little volume the author, Mrs. S.  M.  I.  Henry, treats the great theme of the abiding Holy Spirit in an entirely new and original manner, showing that the presence, power, and ministry of this Spirit are manifested in the common, material things; and the imperative need of  its presence for the performance of the simplest duties.  Too many suppose that God, through his Holy Spirit, helps the Christian only in the so-called greater duties of life.  This pernicious belief, however, the author has endeavored to overthrow, and we are confident that those who carefully peruse her work will find therein much help to live the every-day life, and to solve many religious perplexities.  Those who heard Sister Henry's addresses at the various camp-meetings last year, on the subject of the Holy Spirit, will at once recognize in this new book the gist of those talks."  (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18990124-V76-04__B.pdf#view=fit)   (pg. 63)   Also recommended and advertised in 1917.  (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/TCOG/TCOG19171201-V04-12__B.pdf#view=fit) When questioned about the personality of the Holy Spirit this is how Mrs. Henry responds in her new book:

"Q Do you think the Spirit of God is a person, or is it simply the power by which God works, and which he has given to man for his use? "A. The pronouns used in connection with the Spirit must lead us to conclude that he is a person, the personality of God which is the source of all power and life." (S. M. Henry, The Abiding Spirit, 1899.)(http://historyinfo.net/books/livingvoice.pdf) pg. 55.

In the early days of the Advent movement the pioneers reacted strongly against Trinitarianism and Tri-theism.  In doing so they tended to emphasize the Holy Spirit to be the "presence" and "power" of God.  By the turn of the century, (and especially after the Kellogg pantheism / Trinitarian crisis),  Adventists like S.M.I. Henry and others emphasized the "personality" or personal aspect of God's Spirit.  Please notice that Henry's statement of belief can only be interpreted in two ways:

1)  The Holy Spirit is the "personality" of a Third Divine Being-God the Holy Spirit who is the source of all power and life.

2)  The Holy Spirit is "the personality of God (the Father), whch is the source of all power and life."  (emphasis supplied).  Mrs. Henry's clear intent is the second interpretation.  Ironically enough, she gave many sermons (about the Holy Spirit) at Adventist camp-meetings around the country the year before (1898).  That's strange, 1898 was the same year "The Desire of Ages" was published.  The same year when supposedly Ellen White differed with all her brethren about the personality of the Holy Spirit as "the third person of the Godhead."  It also seems strange that if Ellen sharply differed with her very close and famous friend about the Holy Spirit, she never told her so.  It is also incredibly ironic to think that most modern Adventist scholars and historians believe Ellen was promoting Trinitarianism in DA, while at the same time so many "prominent" church leaders were praising Henry's non-trinitarian, fountarian book.  Next to Mrs. White, Mrs. Henry was the most famous female fountarian the Adventist church has ever known.

We can't close without reading a few more great reviews (from prominent leaders) of Mrs. Henry's "The Abiding Spirit."

"THIS, our latest book from the pen of Mrs. S. M. I.  Henry, is meeting with a hearty welcome.  It appeals' to all who are really seeking after divine power to help them in their every-day life.  The following words of commendation will be of interest.  The first is from  the Woman's Journal, Boston, Mass.: —
"This little book is designed to show the power of the Holy Spirit, and its relations to the human soul.  The tone of the book is good."
From Elder J.N. Loughborough (March 3,1899) : — "I have just completed a careful reading of the book, 'The Abiding  Spirit,' by Mrs. S. M. I.  Henry, with great interest.  It is a book full of such instruction and counsel as are valuable for all.  I hope it will find its way to tens of thousands of homes, not only of Seventh-day Adventists, but of souls that are hungering for just such light as it contains."
From Elder A.  J. Breed  (Feb.  27,  1899) :— '' I have sketched the book as carefully as I could during the time of the General  Conference, and I find it to be very helpful in getting an intelligent idea of the peaceful, abiding Spirit of God.  Those who have trouble in understanding the working of the Spirit,  and have difficulty in applying the sure promises of God, and in making a practical  application of them to their own lives, will find this little book of inestimable value." From Prof. E. A. Sutherland: — ''It  gives me pleasure to recommend the new work written by Mrs. S. M. I. Henry, 'The Abiding Spirit,' to all who are hungering and thirsting for that fullness which is the promise of the Saviour.  Many who have the longing, but know not for what, may here be directed to the fountain of living waters."  (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18990321-V76-12__B.pdf)

"Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jer. 2:12, 13.)

Other links about Mrs. S. M. I. Henry:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._M._I._Henry

http://books.google.com/books?id=fFYFLksIywcC&pg=PA132&lpg=PA132&dq="the+abiding+spirit"+henry+Adventist&source=bl&ots=WKp88BBE1V&sig=FhHPku72Tg-epD37i9T8_ol4l0E&hl=en&ei=ch_3S5fNBcL48AbasKzeCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q="the abiding spirit" henry Adventist&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=fFYFLksIywcC&printsec=frontcover&dq="gary+land"+adventist+dictionary&source=bl&ots=WKp88BBF5Y&sig=JV4ckIR-8gI7cl9snoL63FBhHDc&hl=en&ei=ACD3S47ZN4OB8gaH3oXfCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=henry&f=false

http://www.pacificpress.com/pp/misdta/Chapters/0828013985.pdf