J.N. Loughborough on William Ellis Foy
Gifts of the Spirit Connected with the Message
was not in Sweden alone that the Lord, in connection with the advent movement,
spoke to his people through the gifts of his Spirit. In Scotland, in England, and also in America
the Lord has instructed his people by special revelations.
William Foy’s Visions
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 genuine manifestations of the
Spirit of God. He was invited from place
to place to speak in the pulpits, not be Episcopalians only, but by the
Baptists and other denominations. When
he spoke, he always wore the clergyman’s robe, such as the ministers of that
church wear in their services.
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. Having a good command of
language, with fine descriptive powers, he created a sensation wherever he
went. By invitation he went from city to
city to tell of the wonderful things he had seen; and in order to accommodate
the vast crowds who assembled to hear him, large halls were secured, where he
related to thousands what had been shown him of the heavenly world, the
loveliness of the New Jerusalem, and of the angelic hosts. When dwelling on the tender, compassionate
love of Christ for poor sinners, he exhorted the unconverted to seek God, and
scores responded to his entreaties.
Vision of the Three Steps
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
inexplainable, and he ceased public speaking.
After the close of the prophetic period, in the year 1845, he heard
another relate the same vision, with the explanation that “the first and second
messages had been given, and that a third was to follow.” Soon after Mr. Foy sickened and died.
such manifestations of the power of God in connection with the preaching of his
coming “at the doors,” and with the rejoicing of thousands who were turning
from sin to serve the Lord, and to wait for his coming, the people were doubly
assured that this was indeed the Lord’s message to the world.
J.N. 1905. The
Great Second Advent Movement.
Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association (145-147).