Autobiographical Sketch of Ellen G. White
Witnessing About the Advent Message
The Adventists held meetings at this time in Beethoven Hall. My father, with his family, attended them quite regularly. The period of the second advent was thought to be in the year 1843. The time seemed so short in which souls could be saved that I resolved to do all that was in my power to lead sinners into the light of truth.
I had two sisters at home—Sarah, who was several years older than myself, and my twin sister Elizabeth. We talked the matter over among ourselves, and decided to earn what money we could, and spend it in buying books and tracts to be distributed gratuitously. This was the best we could do, and we did this little gladly.
Our father was a hatter, and it was my allotted task to make the crowns of the hats, that being the easiest part of the work. I also knit stockings at twenty-five cents a pair. My heart was so weak that I was obliged to sit propped up in bed to do this work; but day after day I sat there, happy that my trembling fingers could do something to bring in a little pittance for the cause I loved so dearly. Twenty-five cents a day was all I could earn. How carefully would I lay aside the precious bits of silver taken in return, which were to be expended for reading matter to enlighten and arouse those who were in darkness!
I had no temptation to spend my earnings for my own personal gratification. My dress was plain; nothing was spent for needless ornaments, for vain display appeared sinful in my eyes. So I had ever a little fund in store with which to purchase suitable books. These were placed in the hands of experienced persons to send abroad.
Every leaf of this printed matter seemed precious in my eyes; for it was as a messenger of light to the world, bidding them prepare for the great event near at hand. The salvation of souls was the burden of my mind, and my heart ached for those who flattered themselves that they were living in security, while the message of warning was being given to the world.
(Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, pp. 38-39)