Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) was a member of the Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a passionate abolitionist. He was influential in turning America’s founding generation against slavery and in America’s founding documents being colorblind, containing no mention of slavery nor any classifications based on race or skin color.
Rush was a Scot who earned his M.D. at the University of Edinburgh. After immigrating to the Thirteen Colonies, he served as Surgeon General for the Revolutionary Army. Not only was he one of Philadelphia’s leading citizens, he also served as Professor of Chemistry and Medical Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.
His Christian Faith
Rush was a devout Christian and his Christian worldview was the basis of his impassioned opposition to slavery. This worldview was based in creation and redemption—that all people were created equal by God and that Christ died to redeem all people to Himself.
Rush was also convinced that the American Republic could not survive apart from Christian values and morality. He once proposed inscribing John 3:17 above the doors of courthouses and other public buildings. The passage reads, The Son of Man Came into the World, Not To Destroy Men's Lives, But To Save Them.
Although he recognized the blight of slavery that continued in the South, Rush was convinced that America’s founding documents were a work of God. Careful not to put them on the same level as Scripture, he, nonetheless, said,
I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the United States in its form and adoption is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 155).
His Impassioned Fight Against Slavery
As a passionate abolitionist, Rush helped found in Philadelphia the first Abolition society in America. Rush’s influence is seen in the fact that Benjamin Franklin, one of the best known of America’s founders, joined this society and later served as its president.
In his crusade for abolition, Rush challenged the ministers of America to take a bold stand against slavery, which he called a “hydra sin.” He wrote,
But chiefly—ye ministers of the gospel, whose dominion over the principles and actions of men is so universally acknowledged and felt, - Ye who estimate the worth of your fellow creatures by their immortality, and therefore must look upon all mankind as equal; - let your zeal keep pace with your opportunities to put a stop to slavery. While you enforce the duties of “tithe and cumin,” neglect not the weightier laws of justice and humanity. Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels. In vain will you command your flocks to offer up the incense of faith and charity, while they continue to mingle the sweat and blood of Negro slaves with their sacrifices. Remember, that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them, that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 100-01).
Rush came to the aid of the well-known black preacher and former slave, Richard Allen, when he and others walked out of the Methodist Church in Philadelphia when its white leaders decided to institute segregated seating.
Rush encouraged them, not just with words, but used his influence and his money to help them obtain property and put up a building. This was the beginning of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Allen later wrote,
We had waited on Dr. Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston, and told them of our distressing situation. We considered it a blessing that the Lord had put it into our hearts to wait upon those gentlemen. They pitied our situation, and subscribed largely towards the church, and were very friendly towards us and advised us how to go on . . . Dr. Rush did much for us in public by his influence. I hope the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They were the two first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in. Here was the beginning and rise of the first African church in America (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 156).
His Christian Death
Rush once said, “I have alternately been called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat.” His deep, Christ-centered faith is obvious in a letter he wrote to his wife during his final illness. He first addressed her personally, saying, “My excellent wife, I must leave you, but God will take care of you.” He then continued in what could be called a eulogy of praise to God, saying,
In the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, by Thy holy nativity; by Thy baptism, fasting, and temptation; by Thy agony and bloody sweat; by Thy cross and passion; by Thy precious death and burial; by Thy glorious resurrection and ascension, and by the coming of the Holy Spirit, blessed Jesus, wash away all my impurities, and receive me into Thy everlasting kingdom (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that DefinedAmerica, 156-57).
His Lasting Legacy
Yes, there were strong anti-slavery sentiments at the time of America’s founding, and no one expressed those sentiments more passionately than Benjamin Rush. He died in 1813 but his legacy lived on in the nineteenth century abolition movement and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. His legacy continues today in the nation’s ongoing march toward racial equity.
In his Autobiography, Rush attributed the development of his thinking and ideals to the preachers of the Great Awakening. This makes perfect sense, for in my book, 1726, I document the anti-slavery movement that arose out of the Awakening and how it was driven by the preachers of that Awakening.
Let us, therefore, pray for another Great Awakening across our land for such would do more than anything to bring racial justice, healing, and reconciliation. If he could speak, Dr. Benjamin Rush, America’s Abolitionist Founding Father, would certainly approve.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



When I read the story of the 77-year-old barber, Karl Manke, and his defiance of the lockdown orders of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, I was reminded of Patrick Henry’s defiant speech before the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775.
Henry gave his speech in response to a debate that raged over whether the colonists should surrender their liberties to the invading British who promised them protection and safety. Vehemently opposed to sacrificing freedom for safety, Henry, with eyes blazing, passionately declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
I am not saying that that Manke is Patrick Henry, but there are parallels between the two--between now and then--and it ultimately boils down to the question, “How much do we value our civil liberties?” Will we surrender our God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to Big Government in return for promises of protection and safety? 
Karl Manke Chooses Liberty
If you haven’t read his story, 77-year-old barber, Karl Manke, defied Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders and reopened his barber shop after being turned down for unemployment compensation. He had to make a living!
The governor, of course, insists that she is looking after the safety of her citizens (or subjects?). Manke, however, was desperate to get back to work and was willing to take the risk involved. He told radio host, Steve Gruber, “I just couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do that.”
Manke took every precaution with his customers, sanitizing his hands and equipment and wearing a mask. That was not good enough for the governor who sent the state police with an order for him to close. Manke replied, “I will only leave if they drag me out in the street or Jesus comes.”
After then receiving several tickets from local police, who turned his case over to the prosecuting attorney, Manke replied,
I’m 77. What are they going to give me? Life? I’ve got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. I could care less.”
Manke, of course, is not alone. Others, desperate to feed their families, have opened their shops in defiance of the lockdown. In fact, a movement of protest has emerged across the land against what many consider to be tyrannical measures by government officials that rob them of their God-given, consitutional rights of individual and religious liberty.
The British Lockdown of New England
It was 1775 and the British had locked down the city of Boston and closed its seaport. The lockdown was imposed because Bostonians had publicly protested the unfair taxes and tariffs on their goods without any say on their part. Everyone knew that the same thing would happen in Virginia and Pennsylvania unless they acquiesced to the demands of King George.
King George saw the colonists, not as citizens, but as subjects, and he sent six regiments of British troops to Boston to put down their rebellion. He also revoked the right of the people of Massachusetts to choose their own governing officials, something they had known since the time of the Pilgrims. He then began appointing governors and other officials who would carry out his wishes with the colonists.
The Debate Between Safety and Freedom
Throughout the colonies a great debate arose as to how they should respond to this British take-over. Should they resist? Should they fight this attempt to rob them of the freedoms they had known since the days of the Pilgrims—freedoms that had been purchased and implemented at great price by their parents and grandparents?
Some argued that there could be advantages to sacrificing a few freedoms and living under British control. Living under British rule meant they would not have to worry about marauding pirates who might pass by their shores. The British would also defend them against any future invasions by the French or Spanish and would provide help against attacks from hostile Indian tribes.
Patrick Henry Chooses Freedom
For many, it seemed like a good trade-off. Sacrifice personal freedom for safety. Patrick Henry, however, saw it differently and his impassioned speech changed many hearts and brought the majority over to the side of choosing liberty.
In his speech, Henry laid out the case for not caving to the demands of King George. So moving was his speech that Edward Carrington, who was listening outside a window of the church, requested that he be buried on the spot. Thirty-five years later, in 1810, he got his wish. Henry ended his speech with these resounding words,
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Watch and Pray
A common saying in early America was, “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” We must be especially prayerful and vigilant at this time and not allow our civil liberties to be subtly stolen away in the name of government protection and safety.
Yes, we should cooperate with government officials in their attempts to control the coronavirus, but not at the cost of individual and religious liberty. Government officials must remember that they are not monarchs and we are not their subjects. We are citizens of a free Republic and they are elected officials who serve at the pleasure of the people.
We must, as Jesus said in Matthew 26:41, "Watch [be vigilant] and pray." Pray for public officials to have the wisdom of God in dealing with this pandemic. Be vigilant knowing that power-hungry politicians are using this pandemic, and the fear it produces, to gain more conrol over our lives with promises of government provision, protection, and safety. 
Pray and Choose Liberty
Last, but not least, let us pray for another Great Awakening to sweep across the land. This would do more than anything to preserve our God-given liberties and rid the land of this virus and the more deadly virus of a carnal, casual Christianity.
Yes, personal freedom involves personal responsibility and personal risk. I, for one, am willing to take the risk. I say with Patrick Henry, Karl Menke, and millions of others,  “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Dr. Eddie Hyat is the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America, a timely and strategic book that documents how the Great Awakening played a primary role in the founding of America and the ending of slavery on this continent. This book, and others he has written, are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



The blameless spend their days under the LORD'S care . . .
In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will have plenty
Psalm 37:18-19

The coronavirus continues to take thousands of lives but there is, perhaps, an even more deadly scourge that is now plaguing our land--"hopelessness."
Because of the shutdown of the economy and the ensuing loss of millions of jobs, suicides, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and domestic violence are all on the rise. The stress of being without income and unable to pay the bills is putting many thousands over the edge. 
Many find themselves ensnared in pits of despair and hopelessness with seemingly no way out. CBS News recently reported a study that estimated that 75,000 Americans will die of what they called “deaths of despair.” 
Sue and I believe that God showed us in 2001 that there will be a collapse of the world economy. I do not believe that this downturn is the fulfillment of that vision, but that is not the point here. At that time God showed us that out of the rubble of economic collapse, His providential provision would arise for His people, and that is my point in this article.
This providential provision and blessing I call “the opening of the windows of heaven.” Many years ago, God spoke to me with great clarity about this “opening of the windows of heaven” and it has been an incredible source of hope and strength ever since.
God Gives Me a Promise
In 1976 I was reading a small book entitled The Authority of the Believer. Within the book was a quotation of Malachi 3:10, which includes the promise from God that He will open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.
The phrase open for you the windows of heaven burned in my soul. I went to bed that night and it seemed as though I could actually “feel” that word in my soul in the same way food just eaten could be felt in the stomach. It was a very real experience.
I arose the next morning and began my devotional time in which I was reading through the Bible. However, I immediately sensed my heart beginning to burn with that phrase I will open for you the windows of heaven. I paused to consider whether I should continue with my devotions as usual or should I give attention to this burning in my soul.
As I pondered this question, I glanced down at my Bible which was lying open on the floor. It had fallen open to 2 Kings Chapter 7 and the first words I saw were windows in heaven. I was astounded for I did know there was another place in the Bible that spoke of the windows of heaven. This was incredible and I knew that God was speaking.
God Uses Four Poor Lepers
I continued to read and found that this was the account of God’s supernatural deliverance of a city of Samaria that was besieged by the king of Syria and his powerful army. They had cut off all escape routes and blocked any food or other supplies going into the city. There was a complete economic collapse. It was so bad some in the city were turning to cannibalism.
In the midst of this desperate and impossible situation, Elisha the prophet (who was inside the city) made an incredible prophecy. He predicted that the very next day food would be sold at ridiculously low prices because of the abundance.
An officer of the king of Israel (who resided in this city), heard Elisha’s prophecy and scoffed. Look, he said, If the Lord could make windows in heaven, could this thing be (I Kings 7:2)? Elisha replied that he would see it but would not eat or partake of it.
That same night four leprous, homeless men who lived outside the city gates decided that it was time to take radical action. They said to one another, Why are we sitting here until we die? They reasoned that if they went into the city they would die of starvation. They would also die if they remained in their present position. Why not go out to the camp of the enemy, they reasoned. The worst that can happen to us is that we will die. But if we sit here, we are going to die anyway.
So, they began walking toward the enemy camp. As they marched forth, God caused the Syrian army to hear a sound of a large army marching toward them. They concluded that the king of Israel had hired the Egyptian army, and they ran in terror, leaving everything behind
The Windows of Heaven are Opened
The four lepers reached the camp and found food, clothes, gold, and silver in abundance. They enjoyed a sumptuous meal and then they took gold and silver out and buried it. Then they went back to the city and informed the watchman on the wall of what they had discovered. The watchman informed the king and the king sent several men to check it out. It was as the leprous men had said. The Syrian army had fled leaving behind a massive storehouse of supplies.
As morning dawned and word spread that food was being sold at the gates of the city, there was a mad rush by a lot of hungry people. The officer of the king who had scoffed at the prophecy of Elisha was put in charge of the gate where the food was being sold.
As the crowd rushed forward, he was trampled and died. The prophecy of Elisha was fulfilled in that he saw the widows of heaven opened but he did not eat or partake of the miracle.
God’s Sudden, Supernatural, Abundant Provision
Out of this experience the opening the windows of heaven came to mean to me “God’s sudden, supernatural, abundant provision.” It is God breaking through from above into our present situation. It is God bringing about effects for which there is no human cause or explanation.
In the natural world there is the scientific law of cause and effect which says that for every effect there is a cause. This is a human attempt to explain, on a horizontal plane, why things happen. We work forty hours per week in order to get a paycheck. We toil for hours digging, planting, weeding, and watering and the effect is a beautiful garden. Sometimes it seems that nothing happens unless we do something to cause it to happen.
But when God opens the windows of heaven, He brings about effects for which there is no human cause or explanation. He breaks into our lives from above and produces effects that we have not caused. He provides in a way that is sudden, supernatural, and abundant.
God Confirms His Word
As I pondered all of this that morning, I seemed to hear in my spirit, “I am going to open the windows of heaven on you and on everyone who supports you in what I have called you to do.”
About two years after this, Sue and I were sitting around our kitchen table with several other people, including a white-haired, eighty-year old woman who was a long-time prayer warrior. As we lifted out hearts in prayer, this dear old saint, arose from her chair, came around the table, laid her hands on my head, and began to pray. After our time of prayer had ended, she said, “The Lord told me to lay my hands on you and pray, and when I did, I saw two doors/windows open over your head.” I excitedly replied, “Praise the Lord! He told me he would open the windows of heaven on me.”
As Sue and I have, for many years, sought to walk out God’s plan for our lives with integrity and a daily dependence on Him, we have seen Him fulfill His promise and open the windows of heaven in ways we could never have imagined. Out of our walk with Him certain principles have emerged that I will here share with you. They are, I believe, keys to seeing God open the windows of heaven in your life.
1)       Always see God as your source.
Your job is not your source. Your government pension is not your source. These are channels that God uses to provide for you. God has many channels that He can use, but you must always see Him as your One and only Source.
2)       Ground yourself in God’s promises.
          Before we married, the Holy Spirit brought three promises to Sue’s mind that would characterize our lives together. All three are wonderful promises of God’s provision; Psalm 34:10, Psalm 84:11, and Philippians 4:19. Memorize these and other promises of provision and meditate on them every day until they are a part of your life. 
3)       Nurture an attitude of generosity.
I am not talking about a “give to get” religious legalism that often comes through in Christian fundraisers and telethons. I am talking about a heart attitude that wants to bless others and help those in need. There are many promises in Scripture related to the generous and those who give out of a pure heart. Jesus said, Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken down, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:26).
4)       Listen for God’s wisdom.
God’s provision often comes to us, but it will sometimes come through us. In other words, there are times that we will have to take certain actions to set in motion the miracle that is needed. Wisdom is defined as “the correct application of knowledge” and God wisdom working through you will bring blessing and favor into your life.
5)       Be the best you can be—diligence.
One thing that impressed me about John D. Rockefeller was that in his autobiography he tells about when, as a young man looking for his first job, he decided that he would put in eight hours per day looking for a job until he found one. This is known as “diligence.” At a significant time in our lives, God said to Sue and me, “Be the best you can be.” That is diligence. Proverbs 22:29 says, Do you see a man (or woman) who excels (is diligent) in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.
Will God still open the windows of heaven? Will He do it for me? Absolutely! One of His Old Testament covenant names is Yahweh Jireh, which literally means the “The LORD will see and provide.” As we take Him as our Source and Provider, we will see Him open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings in ways we could never have imagined. We will not live in fear about the economy. As it says in Psalm 37:19 of those who trust in the LORD, In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the co-founder and president of Hyatt Int'l Ministries with a vision to see the church transformed and the world impacted by Biblical Reformation and Spiritual Awakening. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. His latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, documents the impact of the First Great Awakening on the founding of the United States and the ending of slavery on the American continent.



The War was not going well for the North and it looked as though the American Union might well come to an end. In desperation, the United States Senate asked President Abraham Lincoln to call for a Day of Prayer throughout the land. Lincoln responded with the following amazing Proclamation, calling the nation to prayer on April 30, 1863.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation:
And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is Lord.
And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request and fully concurring in the view of the Senate, I do, by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.
And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. By the President: Abraham Lincoln.
Just two months later, General Robert E. Lee marched into Pennsylvania with 76,000 Confederate troops. There was great panic throughout the cities and countryside. Lincoln later recalled,
When everybody seemed panic-stricken, and nobody could tell what was going to happen, I went to my room one day, and locked the door, and got down on my knees before Almighty God, and prayed to Him mightily. And afterward (I don’t know how it was, and I can’t explain it), soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul that God Almighty had taken the whole business into His own hands (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 186-87).
The Union forces won a resounding victory at Gettysburg and this proved to be the turning point of the War. Some would suggest that the Union’s victory at Gettysburg was coincidental, but the fact that it occurred on the heels of the national day of repentance, prayer and fasting, would suggest Divine intervention.
Lincoln’s amazing experience in prayer just before the battle also indicates that God intervened. One writer surmised that, in fact, the North did not win the Civil War, but rather, that prayer won the war. It happened because America remembered her heritage. She remembered 1726.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



On this day, April 29, in 1607, a world missionary vision for American was birthed by the Jamestown settlers after stepping ashore at Cape Henry, Virginia. Upon disembarking, they gathered around a 7-foot oak cross they had brought from England. As they prayed and dedicated the land of their new home to God, their chaplain, Rev. Robert Hunt, declared, “From these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only to this New World but to the entire world” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 37).
It is, therefore, no fluke or coincidence that millions of missionaries have gone out from this land, taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. It is also no fluke that just a short distance from where they made this declaration stands the Christian Broadcasting Network (home of the 700 Club) that has spread the Gospel around the world.
America’s Missionary Roots.
The Jamestown settlers came to America under the auspices of the Virginia Company and a charter that expressed a missionary purpose for the settling of Virginia. The Charter recognized “the Providence of Almighty and God” and stated that a purpose of the colony was “to propagate the Christian religion to such people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that DefinedAmerica, 37).
Thirteen years later, in 1620, off the coast of New England, the Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact in which they declared their 2-fold purpose in coming to the New World: (1) for the glory of God and (2) for the advancement of the Christian faith.
Thirteen years later, after a massive wave of immigration, the United Colonies of New England was formed in 1643. The opening statement of its constitution reveals that the many thousands now living in New England shared the same missionary vision as their predecessors. It reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 31).
It is, therefore, no coincidence that the first Bible printed in America was printed for missionary purposes. In 1649 John Eliot (1604-1690) founded the first missionary society in America. He called it “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England and Parts Adjacent in North America.” One of their first projects was the translation and publication of the Bible into the Massachusetts language.
America’s Founders Shared the Missionary Vision
This missionary vision of America’s earliest immigrants had a far-reaching impact, even influencing America’s Founding Fathers.
George Washington
In a prayer journal that George Washington kept while in his twenties, this prayer entry was found. “Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).
In a meeting with Chiefs of the Delaware Indian Tribe, Washington encouraged them to learn “above all the religion of Jesus Christ.” The Chiefs had come to meet with Congress, and they brought with them three of their youth, asking that they be educated in American schools. Washington addressed them as “Brothers” and said to them,
You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 172).
John Hancock
John Hancock served as president of the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. His signature is the largest and most obvious on that document. While serving as governor of Massachusetts, he proclaimed a Day Prayer in 1793 in which he exhorted the people,
That with true contrition of heart we may confess our sins, resolve to forsake them, and implore the Divine forgiveness through the merits and mediation of JESUS CHRIST our Savior . . . and finally, to overrule all the commotion in the world, to the spreading of the true religion of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, in its purity and power, among all the people of the earth (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 173).
Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams has been called “The Father of the American Revolution.” He was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. While serving as governor of Massachusetts, he declared April 2, 1795 as a Day of Fasting and Prayer for both Massachusetts and America. He said,
I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Second Day of April next, to be observed as a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer throughout this Commonwealth: Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, of every Denomination, with their respective Congregations, to assemble on that Day, and devoutly implore the Divine forgiveness of our Sins, To pray that the Light of the Gospel, and the rights of Conscience, may be continued to the people of United America; and that his Holy Word may be improved by them, so that the name of God may be exalted, and their own Liberty and Happiness secured (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 104).
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is often pointed to as one of America’s nonreligious founders; yet, he too shared in this missionary vision of early America. This was made clear in a 1756 letter he wrote to George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening. In this letter, Franklin proposed that they partner together in founding a new Christian colony on the Ohio frontier.
Franklin, who had developed a close friendship with Whitefield, said they would populate the proposed colony with a religious [Christian] and industrious people. He also presented a missionary motive for the new colony, saying,
Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could, by such a colony, show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 137).
Since he is writing to Whitefield, there can be no question that the “pure religion” Franklin wants to share with the “heathen” is the evangelical, Christ-centered faith that was preached by Whitefield.
Thomas Jefferson
The missionary vision of early America also impacted Thomas Jefferson. For example, as President, he negotiated a federal treaty with the Kaskaskia Indian Tribe, a treaty that, among other things, stipulated that federal funds be made available to pay for a Christian missionary to work with this tribe and for the building of a Christian church in which they could worship.
Jefferson, America’s third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, demonstrated his high regard for Jesus Christ by the manner in which he closed all presidential documents: “In the year of our Lord Christ.” Also significant is his remark: “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year thatDefined America, 150).
The United States Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this missionary character of the nation in an 1892 ruling in the case of, “Church of the Holy Trinity vs the United States.” In this ruling, the nation’s highest court referenced the multitude of documents affirming America’s Christian origins and then said,
They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation . . .. The churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 170).
No Real Liberty Without the Gospel
America’s Founders believed so strongly in the Gospel as the basis of human freedom that they unashamedly prayed and publicly expressed their desire to see it spread throughout the earth.
Recent presidents have sought to export American style democracy to other nations apart from the Gospel of Christ. Indeed, the entire Western world is seeking to secularize liberty and remove it from any association with faith.
America’s Founders would say that such efforts are futile since true liberty cannot be had apart from the Gospel of Christ. They would all agree with Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, who declared,
The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in Religion [Christianity]. Without this there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments (Hyatt, 1726: The Yearthat Defined America, 163).
Yes, the original American vision was for a land of individual and religious liberty from which the Gospel would spread to the ends of the earth. Modern secularists have robbed the American populace of this vision by rewriting America’s history and turning the First Amendment on its head.
It is Time to Recover the Vision
In his classic book, 1984, George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past controls the future.” And Karl Marx once said, “People without a heritage are easily persuaded.” It is time for Christians in America to take back our nation’s original vision, which I have documented in my latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America.

As we recover the truth of this nation’s origins, we can then pray with faith that God will visit us once again with “power from on high’ in the form of a national, spiritual awakening. It is time!
This article is derived from Eddie Hyatt’s book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website, www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the founder of the “1726 Project” which you can read about on his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



The Key to a Revival that Stopped Contagious Diseases

When the Great Awakening came to Northampton, MA in 1735, it had an amazing impact on the entire populace of the city. Not only was there a spiritual impact, but as Jonathan Edwards said, “It was the most remarkable time of health I ever knew.” 
The Spiritual Transformation
There was an incredible spiritual transformation of Northampton. Everywhere one went in the town, people were talking about God. Edwards, who was pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, said, “The town seemed to be full of the presence of God” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Transformed America, 57).
People came to Christ in droves. The one bar in the town was soon left empty. The town was transformed and Edwards said, “A loose, careless person could scarcely be found, and if there was anyone that seemed to remain senseless or unconcerned it would be spoken of as a strange thing (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Transformed America, 57).
Without any emphasis on church growth methods or other human attempts to increase attendance, the church in Northampton filled with those already born again and with others seeking salvation. Edwards wrote,
Our public assemblies were then beautiful: the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly were in general from time to time in tears while the word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Transformed America, 57-58).
The Physical and Mental Transformation
This Awakening also impacted people’s health both mentally and physically. We must remember that this was before penicillin and modern vaccines. The only weapon they had against contagious diseases was quarantines, which they called “bills.”
Edwards says there were normally several quarantines (bills) put on houses every week. But during the Awakening something wonderful happened. He wrote,
We seemed to be wonderfully smiled upon and blessed in all respects. Satan seemed to be unusually restrained; persons who before had been involved in melancholy [depression], seemed to be as it were waked up out of it; and those who had been engaged with extraordinary temptations, seemed wonderfully freed. And not only so, but it was the most remarkable time of health that I ever knew since I have been in the town. We ordinarily have several bills [quarantines] put up, every sabbath, for the sick persons; but now we had not so much as one for many sabbaths together.
This is even more amazing when we realize that Edwards did not believe in Divine healing. As a staunch Calvinist he believed sickness to be sent by God. He never preached a sermon on healing and never prayed for anyone to be healed. He never made any prophetic-healing proclamations.
The Power of a Pure Heart
How then are we to explain this marvelous manifestation of healing and health? I believe it had to do with the purity of the motives of Edwards and his wife, Sarah, in seeking God. They may not have understood some of the doctrines we know today, but they far surpassed us in their pursuit of holiness and purity of heart before God.
Their prayers for an Awakening were borne out of an intense desire to see God’s name honored in New England and to see people turn to Christ and be saved. They were not concerned for personal fame, larger offerings, or a bigger building. Their motives were pure and Godward.
Edwards was not an entertaining preacher. In fact, he wrote out his sermons and read them in a monotone voice without ever moving from behind the pulpit. He was, however, a person of prayer and was known to spend as much as eleven hours per day in study and prayer. 
In response to their fervent prayers for a "revival of religion," God invaded the community with His manifest presence. In His presence, there was health and healing even apart from healing sermons and healing prayers.
What We Can Learn from Them
This should encourage us who preach and teach divine healing. If this could happen with people who did not preach and practice divine healing, how much more should it happen with us. Here is what we can learn from them.
1)       Seek God with a pure heart. Matthew 5:8 says, Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. It is obvious that Edwards and his wife, Sarah, strove to have pure hearts before God. They knew the power of David's prayer in Psalm 139:23, Search me O God, and know my heart . . . and see if there is any wicked way in meTheir prayers for an Awakening were not self-serving, but honorable and pure.
2)       Be jealous for the honor and glory of God. They were grieved and distressed to see the name of Christ dishonored by the spiritual apathy and indifference of the people of their city. They prayed for an Awakening that would turn the hearts of people to God and ignite in them a desire to serve and honor Him. 
3)       Stay focused on Jesus. Edwards considered this to be the number one sign that a revival is a true work of the Holy Spirit. He wrote, “If the spirit that is at work among a people is plainly observed so as to convince them of Christ, that He is the Son of God . . . to beget in them higher and more honorable thoughts of Him, and to incline their affections to Him, it is a sure sign that is the true and right Spirit."
If we can couple their purity of heart with our understanding of faith and spiritual authority, who knows what sort displays of God’s power we might see in the days ahead.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author and ordained minister with a passion to see America return to her founding principles in the Great Awakening. His latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Even when life seems out of control, God is powerfully at work advancing His kingdom and cause. This is powerfully illustrated in Paul’s second missionary journey; a journey that began in strife, continued in uncertainty, and encountered violent opposition. Yet, in hindsight, it is clear that this second missionary journey was the most significant of Paul’s three missionary journeys (four if we include his journey to Rome as a prisoner).
Begins in Strife
It was not the way you want to begin a missionary outreach. Strife erupted over whether Mark should go with them on this second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-41). Paul was adamant that he should not go because he had abandoned them during their first missionary journey and returned to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13).
Barnabas was just as adamant that Mark should accompany them on this new mission. Neither would yield. Luke says that the contention between Paul and Barnabas, became so sharp that they parted from one another (Acts 15:39). How sad! Two friends who had labored together and seen God work so powerfully, now go their separate ways.
Barnabas took Mark and departed on their own missionary journey to Cyprus. Paul found a new ministry partner in Silas and they departed on their missionary outreach. Can God bless such strife and dissension?
Continues in Uncertainty
Although Paul’s idea was to visit all the places he had preached on his first missionary journey, it is obvious that he grappled with where to go first. Acts 15:6 says they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia, which would have been the Roman province of Asia.
Put yourself in Silas’s shoes. He knows that he is with Paul because of his falling out with Barnabas and his insistence that Mark could not accompany him on this outreach. They get up one morning planning to go into Asia (present day Turkey) and Paul says, “No, God says we are not to go to Asia.”
Paul is not sure where to go from there, but heads for Bithynia. However, en route to Bithynia he changes directions again. In Luke’s words, the Spirit did not permit them (Acts 157). Paul then decides to go to Troas.
How is Silas dealing with the uncertainty? How well do you handle a companion’s uncertainty? This missionary journey that began in strife is continuing in uncertainty. But it gets even worse.
Encounters Violent Opposition
Timothy joined up with Paul and Silas in Lystra. They journey on to Troas where Luke joins the team.
In Troas Paul has the vision of the man of Macedonia saying, Come over to Macedonia and help us (Acts 16:9). Paul shares the vision and Luke says they began making plans to go to Macedonian, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them (Acts 16:10).
They journey to Macedonia and stop in Philippi the first major city in that province. There is no synagogue, but they find a group of women who meet regularly for prayer at the nearby river. The Lord opens their hearts and one of them, Lydia, who is a successful businesswoman, invites Paul and his team to stay at her home.
They continue going to the place of prayer by the river and encounter a young woman with a demonic fortune-telling spirit. She follows Paul and his group proclaiming, These men are servants of the Most His God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation (Acts 16:17).
Recognizing that it is a demonic spirit moving the young woman, Paul casts the spirit out of her. From that point, she is no longer able to tell fortunes, and this creates big problems for Paul.
The young woman is a slave and her masters rake in a lot of money through her fortune-telling abilities. When they realize their avenue of money is gone, they forcibly apprehend Paul and Silas and drag them through the streets to the city magistrates. They proceed to accuse Paul and Silas of being trouble-making foreigners.
The magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. They were beaten until the blood ran down their backs, which also turned black and blue with bruises from the beating. After the beating, they were taken to jail and put in the inner dungeon and their feet fastened in stocks.
The missionary journey that began in strife and continued in uncertainty, has now encountered violent opposition.
Reflections on the Above
If you were Silas, what would be going through your mind at this time? Would you be questioning Paul’s ability to hear the Lord? Would you want to say, “Paul, tell me again about that vision you claim to have had about us coming to this place.” You might be tempted to say, “I now understand why Mark left in the middle of your first missionary journey, and if I ever get out of this jail, I am leaving too.”
There could have been questions about the whole legitimacy of this missionary journey. Silas could have said, “Paul, your strife with Barnabas and Mark is the cause of this situation. You have opened the door to the devil. You are going to have to go back and make things right with them.”
God Was Powerfully at Work in the Midst of Their Chaos
Paul and Silas, however, believed in the Sovereign work of Almighty God. They believed that even in the midst of their chaos God was powerfully at work advancing His kingdom and cause. That is why, at midnight, the darkest part of the night, with blood caked on their bruised and beaten backs, they were praying and singing praises to God (Acts 16:25).
At this point, there was a great earthquake and every prison door was opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. The old black preacher was preaching from this passage and quoted Isaiah 66:1-2 where God said, Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.
He pictured the singing of Paul and Silas getting God’s attention. He said as God leaned forward listening to them sing, He began to pat His foot and that is when the earth and the old jail began to shake.
Even though the doors were open and everyone’s bands loosed, not a single prisoner fled. The jailer was so overwhelmed that he fell down before Paul, asking, What must I do to be saved? The prisoners, the jailer and his family, Lydia, and the other women became the nucleus for the church in Philippi, which was first church in Europe.
The Historic Significance of this Second Missionary
This was the first time the gospel was peached in Europe. It was the beginning of the church in Europe. This was significant for Europe would become the bastion of Christianity throughout the Middle Ages. It was out Europe that missionaries carried the gospel to many parts of the world, including North and South America.
It was devout Christians from Europe who founded the United States of America from whence the gospel has been taken to the ends of the earth. Even the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged this missionary role of the United States of America.
In the 1892 ruling, Church of the Holy Trinity vs The United States, the nation’s highest court declared America to be a “Christian nation.” Among the evidence listed for this conclusion, the court mentioned,
The gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 170-71).
This can all be traced back to Paul's second missionary journey--a journey that began in strife, continued in uncertainty, and ran into violent opposition.
It is Now So Clear
With the advantage of 2000 years of hindsight, it is obvious that Paul’s second missionary journey was by far the most significant of all his journeys. At the time, life seemed chaotic, but now it is obvious that God was powerfully at work advancing His kingdom and cause during it all.
God worked His will and way through Paul because Paul was committed to God’s will and way. Paul was not chasing personal success. He was not trying to build a large ministry with a large mailing list and network of supporters. He was, instead, totally committed to making Christ known and calling people everywhere to submit their lives to Him.
I suspect that Paul refused to take Mark on that second missionary journey because he believed that Mark could be detriment to their godly mission. It was not something personal. It was an expression of His total commitment to God and the preaching of the gospel.
Paul did later reconcile with both Barnabas and Mark. Many years later, in his final letter written from a Roman prison cell, Paul admonished Timothy, Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry (II Timothy 4:11).
You Can End Well
All is well that ends well. And like Paul on his second missionary journey, and Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, if we keep our eyes on Jesus during the chaos and trust completely in Him, it will end well. Roman 8:28 will be fulfilled, which reads,
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love (agape) God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is a historan and Bible teacher with a vision for another Great Awakening in America and throughout the earth. His latest book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, documents how the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on the founding of America and the end of slavery on this continent. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.