During the summer of 2019 I read about the “1619 Project” inaugurated by the New York Times supposedly to commemorate the 500-year anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves on American soil. I was stunned, however, to read their thesis that 1619 defined America and marked its true founding rather than 1776. This meant, in their thinking, that America is racist and corrupt at its very core and in need of fundamental change.
This was significant to me for I was, at that very time, researching how the First Great Awakening had provided the spiritual and moral forces that brought about the end of slavery on this continent. My emphatic response to the Times’ thesis was, “No! America was not defined by 1619! America was defined by 1726!” 1726, of course, was the year the Great Awakening had begun.
This encounter with the Times' "1619 Project" was very significant and timely for I had just recently experienced a stirring in my heart to republish America’s Revival Heritage and include a chapter on slavery. In my spirit, I knew that I was to show how the First Great Awakening played a primary role in ending slavery on this continent.
America’s Revival Heritage was the first book that I wrote as a result of a seven-hour encounter with the Lord in 2010. It came at a time when I had given up hope of America ever seeing another great, national spiritual awakening. But in that amazing visitation, God restored my hope for America, and I saw, for the first time, that the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on the founding of our nation.
In response to this recent directive to reprint America’s Revival Heritage, I began reading through the book and making notes where edits should be made based on my ongoing research. I also began work on the new chapter on slavery and was deeply stirred, for I was uncovering clear evidence that the First Great Awakening unleashed anti-slavery outrage that brought about the end of slavery on American soil.
In my 2010 encounter with the Lord, I had become aware of the direct bearing of the First Great Awakening on the founding of the nation. Now, in this 2019 encounter, I was seeing that the Awakening also had a direct bearing on the ending of slavery in America. The truth was clearly coming into focus. America was defined by 1726.
As I continued researching and editing the original manuscript of America’s Revival Heritage, it dawned on me that a new book was emerging. This was not the second edition of America’s Revival Heritage; it was, in fact, a new book that I would call 1726 with the subtitle, The Year that Defined America.
The New York Times is wrong. 1619 did not define America. A Great Awakening occurrred between 1619 and 1776 and changed everything. This is documented in 1726. It is my prayer that God will use this book to awaken many to our true American heritage and that it will provide a spark for igniting another Great Awakening across our land.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book, 1726, is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Also, check out the "1726 Project" he has founded to educate America about her spiritual birth and ignite another great spiritual awakening.