Sabbath, February 17, 2007
WILLIAM ELLIS FOY
1. What was shown to William Foy in his three visions?
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
“In the year 1842 there was living in Boston, Mass., a well-educated man by the name of William Foy, who was an eloquent speaker. He was a Baptist, but was preparing to take holy orders as an Episcopal minister. The Lord graciously gave him two visions in the year 1842, one on the 18th of January, the other on February 4. These visions bore clear evidence of being the genuine manifestations of the Spirit of God.
“Mr. Foy’s visions related to the near advent of Christ, the travels of the people of God to the heavenly city, the new earth, and the glories of the redeemed state.” –J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 145, 146.
2. What revelation was given to William Foy in his third vision?
Revelation 14:6-12 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
“His work continued until the year 1844, near the close of the twenty-three hundred days. Then he was favored with another manifestation of the Holy Spirit, a third vision, one which he did not understand. In this he was shown the pathway of the people of God through to the heavenly city. He saw a great platform, or step, on which multitudes of people gathered. Occasionally one would drop through this platform out of sight, and of such a one it was said to him, ‘Apostatized.’ Then he saw the people rise to a second step, or platform, and some there also dropped through the platform out of sight. Finally a third platform appeared, which extended to the gates of the holy city. A great company gathered with those who had advanced to this platform. As he expected the Lord Jesus to come in a very short time, he failed to recognize the fact that a third message was to follow the first and second messages of Revelation 14. Consequently the vision was to him unexplainable, and he ceased public speaking.” – J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 146, 147.
3. What was the last experience of William Foy before he died?
Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
“After the close of the prophetic period, in the year 1845, he heard another
4. How were his visions regarded while he was still alive?
Deuteronomy 18:21, 22 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
“Ellen G. White, in a 1912 interview (Document File 231), reported that she had talked with him [William Foy] once when he was present in a meeting where she was relating her own early visions, and that he had said that her account was just what he had seen. She apparently regarded his experience as genuine.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, p. 475.
5. What was shown in a vision to another person of the Millerites in 1844?
Ezekiel 33:7, 8 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
“About this time there lived in Poland, Maine, a young man by the name of Hazen Foss, who firmly believed the Lord would come on the tenth day of the seventh month. He was a man of fine appearance, pleasing address, and quite well educated. A few weeks before the ‘midnight cry’ ended, the Lord came near and gave him a vision, in which he was shown the journey of the advent people to the city of God, with their dangers.” –J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, p. 182.
6. How was this vision related to a vision given to William Foy?
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
“He, like Mr. Foy, was shown three steps by which the people of God were to come fully upon the pathway to the holy city. Being a firm believer in the Lord’s coming ‘in a few more days’ (as they then sang), the part of the vision relating to the three steps onto the pathway was to him unexplainable; and being naturally of a proud spirit, he shrunk from the cross, and refused to relate it.” –J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, p. 182.
7. What warning was given to him in a subsequent vision?
Jonah 3:1, 2 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
“The vision was repeated the second time, and in addition he was told that if he still refused to relate what had been shown to him, the burden would be taken from him, and be given to one of the weakest of the Lord’s children, one who would faithfully relate what God would reveal. He again refused. Then a third vision was given, and he was told that he was released, and the burden was laid upon one of the weakest of the weak, who would do the Lord’s bidding.” –J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, p. 182.
8. What happened when he decided to relate publicly his vision?
Luke 1:20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
“This startled the young man, and he decided to relate what had been shown him, and accordingly gave out his appointment. The people crowded together to see and hear. He carefully related his experience, how he had refused to relate what the Lord had shown him, and what would result from his refusal. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘I will relate the vision.’ But alas! it was too late: he stood before the people as dumb as a statue, and finally said in the deepest agony, ‘I cannot remember a word of the vision.’ He wrung his hands in anguish, saying, ‘God has fulfilled his word. He has taken the vision from me,’ and in great distress of mind said, ‘I am a lost man.’ From that time he lost his hope in Christ, and went into a state of despair. He never attended an Adventist meeting again, and had no personal interest in religion.” –J. N. Loughborough, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 182, 183.
9. How was it discovered what was given to him in his first vision?
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
“It was in December, 1844, after this experience, that Ellen G. Harmon (later White) had her first vision. At the time Ellen Harmon knew nothing of the experience of Hazen Foss, but while visiting in Poland, Maine, in February, 1845, she related at Maguire’s Hill the first vision she had seen. Foss was invited to the meeting but would not come in. From outside the closed door he heard her account. The next day he called on her at her sister’s home in Poland, and recounted his experience. As she reported it, he declared, ‘Ellen,…. The Lord gave me a message to bear to His people. And I refused after being told the consequences, I was proud; I was unreconciled to the disappointment. I murmured against God and wished myself dead. Then I felt a strange feeling come over me. I shall be henceforth as one dead to spiritual things. I heard you talk last night. I believe the visions are taken from me, and given to you. Do not refuse to obey God, for it will be at the peril of your soul. I am a lost man. You are chosen of God; be faithful in doing your work, and the crown I might have had, you will receive.’ (Ellen G. White, Letter 37, 1890).
“Foss lived until 1893, but from the time he refused to relate his visions he had no interest in religious matters.” –S.D.A. Encyclopedia, Commentary Reference Series, vol. 10, pp. 473, 474.