Archive for the ‘A. J. Cudney’ Category

Have You Read Them

December 21, 2008

By G. B. Starr

Seventh-day Adventists, the remnant people of God, are the possessors of the rarest and richest publications ever presented to the world’s readers.

No preceding religious movement in the history of the world has ever given such a vast amount of high-class comments upon the entire Bible, and presented the plan of redemption in such clear and convincing and appealing language. This statement is proven by the comparison of the writings of the Spirit of prophecy with the publications of all former generations and of the present one.

A well-informed teacher of literature, not a Seventh-day Adventist, who had traveled in all parts of the world, made a significant statement to her class of forty- eight adult students. She had requested the class to bring in three excerpts from their favorite authors, and the class were to tell from hearing them read, who the authors were. One member brought three paragraphs from “Desire of Ages.” The class approved of the writing as very fine, but were unable to name the writer.

The teacher, Miss E. McMillan, then stated that the excerpts were from the pen of Mrs. E. G. White, and that she felt it was a great pity that her writings were not better known. She told the class she was going to make a bold, strong statement, and that she meant every word of it. She then said; “Of all writings, ancient, medieval, or modern, there are no writings so full of beauty, so perfect in every way, so pure, and yet so simple, outside the Bible, as the writings of Mrs. E. G. White.”

The report of this statement is signed by two members of the class; namely, Harold N. Williams, St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Roy O. Williams, D.D.S., Loma Linda, California.

These writings unveil the future movements of nations, religious bodies, and individuals. The writings are here in the possession of God’s people, and they cannot be set aside or talked out of existence. They have led the way to the erection of monumental sanitariums, publishing houses, schools, colleges, and a unique medical college, for the training of medical evangelists, the only one of its kind in the world. Thus they exhibit the soundness of their teaching and the inspired type of instruction.

Where did Ellen G. White obtain the instruction contained in “Early Writings,” “Patriarchs and Prophets,” “Great Controversy,” “Education,” “Ministry of Healing,” and the many volumes of “Testimonies to the Church?” She was not tutored in the world’s colleges. They possess no such information. Eight years before her death in July, 1915, she wrote: “Abundant light has been given to our people in these last days. Whether or not my life is spared, my writings will constantly speak, and their work will go forward as long as time shall last. My writings are kept on file in the office, and even though I should not live, these words, given me by the Lord, will still have life and will speak to the people.”—”Writing and Sending Out of the Testimonies,” pp. 13, 14.

The Lord Jesus, the Prince of the universe, informs men and angels as to just how He came in- to possession of all these treasures of knowledge which He reveals. His opening words of the book of Revelation clearly state it:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, WHICH GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST, and of all things that he saw.”

Having had the privilege of knowing Ellen G. White for more than a quarter of a century, and also being called to travel with her and her family in this country and Australasia, it is a pleasure for me to respond to the invitation to relate to those newly embracing the faith, some personal experiences and observations of her life and work.

My first acquaintance with her was at a camp meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1882. Here she exhorted us all to use our influence by “voice and pen and vote,” to forward the movement for prohibition. She related a dream, which she had six months previous, in which an angel had instructed her along those lines. I was pleased to witness how effectually her testimony unified the sentiment of the conference and led to a unanimous vote favoring such action. The influence of that counsel continues to guide our people in all lands.

My next experience was at a camp meeting in Nebraska, the same year. There she presented the life experience of a young minister, whom she had never seen before. He later testified, at a General Conference session, to the absolute truthfulness of the message she gave him, and said it had led him into an entire change of life, which we were all able to see.

In 1891, at Petoskey, Mich., where we were all residing at the time, Sister White handed me a roll of manuscript to read, stating that it had been compiled from her various writings with the view of producing a small booklet on practical religious experience. It had not then been named. It certainly was a great privilege to read in this manuscript, what a little later was named “Steps to Christ,” and which has since been translated into more than fifty languages. The various presses have printed hundreds of thousands of copies, which have gone forth on their blessed ministry of pointing souls to Christ, step by step leading the readers into a definite religious experience. Its influence leads to the word of God and to faith in Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. It also cheers and steadies the faith of Christians. Many will testify of personal help received from its pages. It also leads to the reading of other volumes written by the same writer. Once one has tasted of the fine flavor of the writings and recognized the voice of Jesus speaking in them, he must continue to read until all are devoured.

Evidence of Inspiration

At a general Conference at Battle Creek, Mich., in 1883, the entire delegation had the experience of witnessing her prophetic gift. She was speaking at the closing Sunday night’s service, which was unusual, as she seldom spoke in the evening. Stopping in the midst of her address, she pointed up to the gallery, straight at the clock, behind which three of us delegates from Nebraska were seated, and in a clear distinct voice, easily heard by the more than three thousand persons present, she said: “Elder Cudney, open your heart and take Elder Johnson in; he wants a place in your heart. Do not leave this Tabernacle tonight until you are reconciled to each other. Elder Cudney, open your heart and take Elder Johnson in.” This she repeated several times.

As I was seated between these two brethren, I endeavored to move out, but was prevented for a time by Elder Cudney. Succeeding, however, the way was opened for them to get nearer together. For a time Elder Cudney hesitated. He had misinterpreted Elder Johnson’s advances toward him, and thought he was aspiring to the office of conference president. But the Spirit of God gained the victory, and Elder Cudney threw his arms about Elder Johnson. As they thus embraced as brethren, the influence affected the entire delegation, and many wept. This unusual scene at a General Conference seemed a fitting influence for these delegates to carry to their people in all parts of the world.

Elder Cudney wrote Sister White from Nebraska a short time afterwards, stating that they had followed her counsel, and before leaving the Tabernacle that night had retired to a smaller room, and with Elders George I. Butler and S. N. Haskell and the writer, had come to a perfect understanding, and that they were then laboring together among the churches, to their comfort and edification.

Faces Recognized

Upon our arrival in Melbourne, Australia, and in attendance at the first conference meeting, Sister White asked me who that tall gentleman was, seated at the extreme left of the room. I replied, “That is Lawyer. . . , one of the first persons to embrace the truth in the city of Melbourne.” “And who is that lady, seated at the right of the room?” Sister White asked, as she pointed toward the person indicated. I replied, “That is the Lawyer’s wife.” “And who is that young man at the end of the middle row?” she asked, “He is the lawyer’s nephew,” I answered. “Well that is interesting,” Sister White said. “I saw those three persons, in a vision given me in Switzerland, six years ago. They were then all in one room together, in a private home, praying for light on the book of Daniel. I thought they lived together, and could not understand why they were so separated in this meeting.” I informed her that they did all live together and their being separated so was unusual. But I feel sure the readers will join me in thanksgiving that they were so separated, as it proved clearly that Sister White assuredly recognized them as those seen in the vision, whom she had never seen in person before. She had written in “Testimonies,” Vol. V, page 67: “As the Lord has manifested Himself through the Spirit of prophecy, past, present, and future have passed before me. I have been shown faces that I had never seen, and years afterward, I knew them when I saw them.”

Here we had a perfectly clear fulfilment of this statement. This man was the first to purchase one of the one thousand copies of the book “Daniel and the Revelation,” which William Arnold had carried with him to Australia, and thus had the answer to their prayers for light on those books.

In closing we will let Sister White speak: “Never have testimonies been more clearly brought before the people than those that have been recently traced by my pen. God bids me urge upon the attention of our people the importance of their study. Let this work begin now. Then whether I am permitted to labor, or laid away to rest until Jesus comes, these messages are immortalized.”

The Far Eastern Division Outlook, October 15, 1937, pages 2, 3

Evangelist Cudney, Nebraska, 1881

December 21, 2008


— Source, Review and Herald, January 4, 1881, page 10

Mrs. Cudney’s Obituary, 1952

December 21, 2008

Review and Herald, May 27, 1952, page 20


Capt. Lovell’s Sister-in-Law Writes Mrs. Cudney

December 20, 2008

Review and Herald, June 25, 1889, page 8.


A. J. Cudney

December 20, 2008


Cudney Lost at Sea with the sinking of the Phoebe Chapman

“John Tay went to other islands in the Pacific Ocean to carry the message. But he found it so hard to get to many of them, where ships did not call very often, that he came home to America, to ask for a ship of our own. At first the brethren did not think of building one. Instead they sent A. J. Cudney in a small ship which they bought and named the “Phoebe Chapman.” With a missionary crew of five men, Cudney started out in this ship to go to Pitcairn. Mr. Tay had gone down to Tahiti to wait for Mr. Cudney to pick him up, when they would go together to Pitcairn, and afterwards to other islands.

“The “Phoebe Chapman” sailed from Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands, July 31, 1888, and should have reached Tahiti in a few weeks. But nothing more was ever heard from her or the people in her. No doubt they perished in some great storm. God knew His reasons, though we do not, why Mr. Cudney and his brother missionaries should not reach their field of labor. He laid them away to rest in the bosom of old ocean, until that day when the sea shall give up her dead to receive their reward. And were they not martyrs for Jesus, as much as any who have died for Him, though they perished not under the spears or the axes of savage men, nor languished in dungeons and chains, but gave up their lives to the storm-king of the waters?

Cudney Organizes Churches in Hawaii Before Sailing for Pitcairn

On July 22, 1888, Pastor A. J. Cudney organized these nine members into the first Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hawaii. Just a few days later, on July 31, 1888, he left on a sailboat for Pitcairn Island (now famous for its place in early Adventist missions), but the ship was lost at sea and never heard from again. Because of this tragedy, the organization of the church in Hawaii was never reported to the world headquarters and was not officially recognized until its reorganization on February 22, 1896, with fifteen members.



Missionary-ship Committee for 1888

Members of committee: C. Eldridge, C. H. Jones, J. N. Loughborough, W. C. Sisley, A. T. Robinson, who reported as follows:–

Your committee appointed to take into consideration the matter of securing a ship to be used for missionary purposes, after thorough investigation on the Atlantic Coast, find that a vessel of 100 tons, Government measurement, built of white oak, with a cabin to accommodate sixteen passengers, thoroughly equipped and ready for sea, will cost between $8,000 and $9,000. Second-hand vessels of from 40 to 100 tons, and from three to five years old, could be purchased at from $2,000 to $6,000. We find that on the Pacific Coast a vessel of 75 tons, Government measurement, built of oregon pine, fully equipped and ready for service, will cost about $8,000. With steam auxiliary, the vessel will cost about $15,000. The cabin of this ship would accommodate fifteen persons.

Further than this, your committee learn that elder A. J. Cudney, who was instructed by the General Conference Committee to proceed with Brother J. I. Tay to Pitcairn Island as soon as possible, after seeking in vain to secure passage direct from San Francisco, sailed to Honolulu, from whence, after laboring a short time with the church in that place, he expected to sail to Tahiti, there to meet Brother Tay, who was to sail direct from San Francisco, at the first opportunity, from whence they hoped to find passage to Pitcairn Island. On reaching Honolulu, and finding no means of transport, Elder Cudney accepted the offer of Brother N. F. Burgess, who proposed to purchase a schooner, then offered at forced sale, if Elder Cudney would fit it up, man it, and use it in the missionary work, among the islands of the Pacific. This schooner is 45 tons’ burden, capable of accommodating ten persons besides the crew, and costs only $1,100. Brother Burgess makes no charge for the use of the vessel on this trip, and if desired, will sell it to the Conference for what it cost him. The cost of fitting up this schooner was about $900, which is to be returned to the Conference, if the vessel is sold to other parties.

Elder Cudney secured a crew, consisting of a captain, a mate, two sailors, 373–GCS 63-88 and a steward, and July 31 started for Pitcairn, intending to proceed first to Tahiti, to take on board Brother Tay, who sailed from San Francisco, July 5. We hope soon to hear of their safe arrival at Pitcairn Island. In view of these facts,–

1. We recommend that, if this vessel, after thorough examination, is found to be sound, and well-adapted to our needs, it be purchased, according to the liberal offer of Brother Burgess, and used till the work demands a larger one. [Oct. 19].

2. RESOLVED, That the General Conference express its appreciation of the generous act of Brother N. F. Burgess, of Honolulu, in providing the missionary ship for Elder Cudney to go to the islands of the Pacific; and we pray the blessing of God upon him and his, and upon the ship and her crew, and that she may have a prosperous voyage throughout [A. T. Jones, Oct. 31].


Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Daily Bulletin, November 2, 1888

21 Resolved, That the General Conference express its appreciation of the generous act of Bro. N. F. Burgess, of Honolulu, in providing, the missionary ship for Eld. Cudney to go to the Islands of the Pacific, and we pray the blessing of God upon him and his, and upon the ship and crew, and that he may give her a prosperous journey.


Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Daily Bulletin, November 6, 1889, page 3.

WHEREAS, Elder A. J. Cudney was selected to visit the brethren in Pitcairn Island, to complete the organization of a church there, and left Honolulu, H. I-, on the ship Phebe Chapman, for that purpose, July 5, 1888; and,—

WHEREAS, Nothing has “been heard from him since that time; therefore,

Resolved, That we hereby express the sense of pain we feel over the suspense arising from this lack of tidings, and the uncertainty that hangs over his fate.

Resolved, That we will use due diligence to secure, if possible, some tidings concerning him after his departure from Honolulu.

Resolved, That we tender to his family our sympathy in their afflicting circumstances.


General Conference Committee, March 27?, 1889

The consideration of the Ship bought be Eld. Cudney was taken up, and the following resolution was adopted.

Resolved, That N.F.Burgess be paid the amount which he advanced for the purchase of the Sch. Phebe Chapman, That Mrs Capt. Lovel be paid the wages of Capt. Lovel, less the amount which she has already received on account. That the wages of officer and crew be paid to their legal representatives, and that their time calculated from the time of their engagement to the longest reasonable time required to make passage from Honolulu to their port of destination.


Help For Mrs. Cudney



Further Notes About A. J. Cudney

  • President of the Nebraska Conference, 1886
  • Organized the first church in Hawaii.
  • mr-and-mrs-cudney

    — Source, Review and Herald, June 28, 1951, page 17