Hazen Foss’s Vision, 1844


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. Some messages of warning were given to him, which he was to deliver, and he had also a view of the trials and persecution that would consequently follow if he was faithful in relating what had been shown him. 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. The vision was repeated the second time, and in addition he was told that if he still refused to relate what had been shown 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. {1905 JNL, GSAM 182.1}


Foss Fails to Relate His Vision


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. His demeanor in many respects, to say the least, has been that of one deprived of the gentle influence of the Spirit of the Master, of one “left to his own ways, to be filled with his own doings.” In this condition of mind he died in 1893. {1905 JNL, GSAM 182.2}


Foss’s Vision Related by Another


About three months from the time he failed to recall his vision, he heard from an adjoining room a vision related by another. The meeting was held in a dwelling-house where he was. He was urged to come into the meeting, but refused to do so. He said the vision was as near like that shown him as two persons would relate the same thing. And thus was known what he saw but could not remember when trying to relate it. On getting a view of the person afterward, he said, “That is the instrument on whom the Lord has laid the burden.” {1905 JNL, GSAM 183.1}

[Concerning the prophetic ministry of E. G. White, it is interesting to point out that God first called a man, called Hazen Foss. But when he rejected the call for his own perdition, God decided to call “the weakest of the weak.” In special occasions, God may even speak through a donkey (Num 22:28-30). Would you ordain a donkey to pastoral ministry?



She never officiated in baptism or in marriage ceremonies. She never tried to usurp the leadership of the

church, or coveted or required an administrative position, thought she defended her call as God’s messenger. She submitted to their directives even when the leaders in Battle Creek asked her to go to Australia, against her will. She gave her testimony directly from God, and left the matters with God and those who received her testimony. Even in her marriage, she never tried to occupy the place of her husband as the head of his home. See her own testimony towards the end of this paper].



Did E. G. White have to wait to be ordained to pastoral ministry in order to be called to the prophetic ministry? Did the church ordain her to pastoral ministry because she was called directly by God to be His messenger to the remnant? She never baptized or married people. She was never president of a Conference, or of a Union, or of the General Conference. She never sought such a pastoral administrative position, because God did not call her for that. Furthermore, she stated that we do not have to wait to be ordained in order to share the gospel.


A little further along Hazen Foss, living in Poland, Me., had a vision, and was shown the pathway of the Advent people to the city of God, and he also saw the three steps. He was a well educated young man, and a man of good address. He was told to go and relate the vision shown to him. There were corrections for some individuals. He was shown that he would have enemies if he did deliver the vision, and he did not want to go. Another thing also, was, that he did not want to tell a vision to the people that he could not understand. The three steps puzzled him. {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 144.1}

A second vision was given him, and he was told that if he did not go, the testimony would be taken from him and given to a weak, humble person, who would relate the visions. He still refused to go. A third vision was given, and he was told that he was released; that God had found his instrument, one who was the weakest of the weak. He began to think his case hopeless. He then made an appointment, and stated that he would relate the vision. The people came together, and he got up and told the particulars of his experience and refusals, and said, “Now I will relate the vision.” But there he stood, and the people waited – he could go no further. Finally he said, “Friends, God has fulfilled his word, and has taken it from me. I cannot tell it. I fear that I am a lost man.” {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 144.2}

He never attended an Advent meeting again. He is still living, in the State of Ohio, and has never had any interest in religion from that time to this. {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 144.3}

A few weeks after that – about three months – a vision was related in the same room, by Ellen Harmon. He would not go into the room, but from an adjoining room he heard every word. He afterwards told the people that the vision given to Ellen Harmon was the same as that given to him. He did not want to see her, but they unexpectedly met, and he said to her, “Relate faithfully what God has shown you, and God will not leave you.” {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 144.4}




William Foy

Foy, William Ellis (1818-1893). Pastor, preacher, and prophet. Born in Maine to a family of free Blacks, he was baptized as a teenager in the Freewill Baptist Church. He received several visions in 1842, giving views of heaven and the advent of Christ, the reward of the saints and the punishment of sinners. At one point as he related his visions in Beethoven Hall in Portland, Maine, a young Ellen Harmon sat near the speaker’s stand, with Foy’s wife beside her. She recalled, “It was remarkable testimonies that he bore” (17MR 96.3).


In 1845 his visions and personal experience were published in The Christian Experience of William E. Foy Together With the Two Visions He Received in the Months of January and February 1842. In relating a time when in her early years she was recounting her visions in a public meeting, Ellen White stated, “I heard a shout, and he [Foy] is a great, tall man, and the roof was rather low, and he jumped right up and down, and oh, he praised the Lord, praised the Lord. It was just what he had seen, just what he had seen” (17MR 96.2). It appears that Foy had messages for the Advent believers before October 22, 1844 just as Ellen White had visions and dreams after. Though his prophetic ministry was not life-long as was Ellen White’s, he did continue as a minister the rest of his life.

The Midnight Cry of that time says, that “many have had their attention called to the Sabbath question, and think they should keep the Saturday as the Sabbath,” and then the editor goes on to write an article to try to show people that the first day was the day to keep; but it was a very weak argument. The next week he had another article in which he said it was very evident that there was “no day commanded except the seventh.” People began to talk about it, and some to keep it; and it is no wonder that before the time passed, quite a number began to keep the Sabbath.   {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 143.9}

Right in connection with the midnight cry there was an eloquent mulatto in the New England States, by the name of Foy, who was attending college, preparing and nearly ready to take holy orders as a minister in the Episcopal Church. The Lord was pleased to give him three visions. His Advent brethren, and his own church, acknowledged that these were genuine visions from God, and that the Spirit of God produced them. He went from place to place, and when he gave these visions he placed on himself the Episcopal robes. His work created quite a stir. I have seen his book, called “Foy’s Visions,” published by John Pearson, of Boston. After the publication of these visions, Foy became lifted up and had no more visions. Soon after he sickened and died. Before he died, he heard Sister Harmon (White) relate her vision. He became very


happy at the hearing of it, and said it was the same as had been shown to him. {March 18, 1891 N/A, GCDB 143.10}



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