Ellen G. White — Messenger to the Remnant

204/210

Investment in the Bank of Heaven

We will now turn to some of the incidental statements Mrs. White herself made in regard to helping the cause of God in a financial way. Often it was with money at her command; sometimes it was with borrowed money. Speaking in 1890, she said: EGWMR 123.8

“I am a servant to the cause of God. Since I returned from Europe I have seen places where money must be raised or losses would be sustained. I donated one thousand dollars to the Chicago Mission and carry this debt, paying seven per cent interest. I saw that different churches must be helped, for they were under financial pressure, and I gave six hundred more. I had to hire the money and am still paying interest on this.”—Letter 13b, 1890. EGWMR 123.9

Of course, it was her expectation that the royalty income from the sale of her books would soon meet the obligations which she incurred. Actually she was pledging an assured future income to meet the urgent present demands of the work of God. In time these debts were all paid from these incomes, just as she intended. EGWMR 123.10

While Mrs. White was in Australia she found the needs very great. The work was getting a good start, but there was depression and poverty. Some of her friends in California sent money to her to buy a comfortable chair. Just then there was need for a church in Paramatta. The money was donated to aid in the church building project. Some years earlier she had a similar experience with a dress. Here is her account of it: EGWMR 123.11

“Years ago when the mission first started in Europe, some of the sisters thought they would do me a great favor and they bought me a good American silk dress that cost $45. It was just at the time that Brother Andrews wanted means to use in the mission in Europe, and I took the dress and sold it for $50.00 and sent the money to him to use in the cause, and it came just in the right time and I was so thankful.”—Manuscript 3, 1888. EGWMR 123.12

When the Bible school was started in Melbourne, and many of our young people did not have funds to meet their expenses, Mrs. White could not pass this need by. How she met it is described in her own words: EGWMR 123.13

“I have already appropriated two thousand dollars of royalties on books, to help students to attend the school. They would never have been able to enjoy the advantages of the school unless some one did help them, and as no one assumed the responsibility, it dropped on me. I carried several through the first term of school, and am paying the expenses of six during the present term, and the number may swell to eight.”—Letter 65, 1893. EGWMR 123.14

Some of this money was expended to aid in clothing. Note these words in an order to the principal of the school: EGWMR 123.15

“Will you please inquire of Brother —— in regard to the clothing that he requires, and what he needs please furnish to him, and charge the same to my account. He has not received his trunk, and I fear he may suffer for the want of necessary changes.”—Letter 100, 1893. EGWMR 123.16

Helping students was not a new thing, for in the United States she had set up a fund from royalty income to help in this way; and many students in this country received help. The royalties from her books published overseas were often turned back for the education of worthy young people in other lands. EGWMR 123.17

Writing to a friend about this in 1908, she said: EGWMR 123.18

“A brother in Europe wrote to me, ‘I have a thousand dollars that is due you on the sale of your books. Could not you let us have a portion of this to help in the education of young men, and fitting them to engage in missionary work?’ EGWMR 123.19

“In reply I wrote, ‘Keep it all, if you can only train young men to go out and labor as missionaries. I will continue to pay interest on money, in order that I may give this to you as a donation.’ EGWMR 124.1

“This is how Sister White is becoming rich. I have been laying up my treasure in heaven.”—Letter 106, 1908. EGWMR 124.2

Then there were workers in need of help. This was before the days of the Sustentation Fund. When she saw a need, that need must be met, even if it must be financed by herself. Thus we read of a certain worker: EGWMR 124.3

“Brother and Sister A. have been laboring in Ormondville, about 100 miles from here, with good results.... I met him in Napier, and he told me I was the one who sent him to school in Healdsburg, paying his expenses to obtain an education. I was so thankful to see the result of this investment. EGWMR 124.4

“We send Brother A... to the Institute at St. Helena... He is a great sufferer. I have appropriated $300 to this case, although there are many cases where every dollar is needed, but I feel perfectly clear in helping in this case. It is a case where those who love and fear God must show their sympathy in a tangible manner, and bear in mind that Christ identified his interest with suffering humanity.”—Letters 79 and 33, 1893. EGWMR 124.5