We would not expect to learn about divine healing from Jonathan and Sarah Edwards for they  neither taught divine healing nor prayed for the sick to be healed. However, when the Great Awakening came to Northampton, Massachusetts, 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.”

There were keys to this healing revival that seem to be lacking in the modern church, and this is what I want to examine in this article. If we could recover those keys and marry them to our  knowledge of faith and the authority we have in Christ, we might well see the greatest healing revival since the book of Acts

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 weapons they had against contagious diseases were 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 born 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 11 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; try me, and know my concerns.” Their 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. Sarah tells of being overwhelmed by God’s presence as she listened to a visiting minister lament that God's children should be so cold and lifeless in their faith. She said,

“I felt such a sense of the deep ingratitude manifested by the children of God, in such coldness and deadness, that my strength was immediately taken away, and I sunk down on the spot. Those who were near raised me, and placed me in a chair; and, from the fullness of my heart, I expressed to them, in a very earnest manner, the deep sense I had of the wonderful grace of Christ towards me, of the assurance I had of his having saved me from hell, of my happiness running parallel with eternity, of the duty of giving up all to God, and of the peace and joy inspired by an entire dependence on his mercy and grace.”

3.       Stay focused on Jesus. Edwards considered this to be the number 1 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 pursuit of holiness with our understanding of faith and spiritual authority, who knows what sort of displays of God’s healing 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. This article is derived from his book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, and is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



I agree with many who are saying that the 2024 presidential election will be the most significant of our lifetime, and perhaps in American history. America is on the brink of losing her soul and the freedoms for which so many have fought and died. There must be a change in Washington D.C. come November.

There is, however, something deeper and more fundamental than the 2024 election that must be addressed if America is to be saved. At its very root, our problem is not political; it is spiritual and moral. This is why an awakened American church is the real key to the future of America at this time.

When America's Pulpits Were "Aflame with Righteousness"

That an awakened church is the key to America’s future was confirmed by the French sociologist and political scientist, Alexis de Tocqueville.

Tocqueville came to America in 1831 to study the country’s penal system and to see if he could discover the cause of her rapid rise to influence and power among the nations of the world. He arrived on the heels of the Second Great Awakening and was struck by the prayers and talk about God he encountered everywhere. He exclaimed, “The religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me on arrival in the United States” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 166).

He also noted that Christianity and civil liberty seemed to have been merged in the thinking of Americans. He stated that he knew of missionaries being sent to the western frontier because of concern the settlers there could not enjoy the civil liberties promised in the Constitution apart from the influence of the Gospel. He wrote, “Thus, religious zeal is warmed in the United States by the fires of patriotism” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 167).

Although the quote below is not found in Tocqueville’s writings, it has the sound and feel of Tocqueville, and has historically been attributed to him.[1] After nine months of continually traveling and taking notes, Tocqueville is reported to have said,

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

If we are to see America saved, the pulpits of America must once again be “aflame with righteousness,” as Tocqueville put it. This is of utmost importance, for as America’s founders warned, only a moral and virtuous people can be a truly free people. This is why America’s second president, John Adams, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

May God Awaken the American Church

As a nation, America can no longer be described as a “moral and religious people.” This has happened because we, God’s people, have not been light, driving back the spiritual darkness, or salt, restraining the moral corruption (Matthew 5:13-14). This has happened because of our burning desire to seen as "cool" and to be “liked” by contemporary culture. As a result, we are lacking the power of Pentecost.

I recall, for example, attending a Sunday morning service at one of the best-known mega churches in America I sat through an impressive church production that would rival anything from Nashville or Hollywood. However, I noted an emptiness in my spirit after it was over. My soul had been entertained but my spirit had been left dry.

On the Day of Pentecost there was a “sound from heaven” like a mighty rushing wind that filled the room and “tongues of fire” that sat up on each one of them (Acts 2:1-4). It was not their Audio-Visual Department creating those sights and sound. It was not a production of their Arts Department. Heaven had come down and was filling their souls in response to their prayers and obedience.

We have become very adept at producing lovely earthly sounds for our church programs. These, however, will not save America. If America is to be saved, we must recapture that sound from heaven, and it comes only through sincere prayer and obedience to the risen Lord. Only then will the pulpits of America once again be “aflame with righteousness.”

Only an Awakened Church will save America.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt believes that America can be saved but only through a revived and awakened church. This article is derived from his book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, which documents the impact of the First Great Awakening on the founding of America and the abolition of slavery.

[1] Tocqueville probably spoke these words in one of his many speeches and someone wrote them down, and they were quoted and requoted and found their way into the public discourse.



President Donald Trump’s endorsement of the “God Bless the USA Bible” has been met with a storm of criticism. Some are calling it “sacrilege” and “heresy” and others claiming he is taking advantage of people’s faith for the sake of money. Others claim that by associating America with the Bible he is promoting Christian Nationalism, which they insist is dangerous and un-American.  

I am not writing here to speculate about Trump’s motives in partnering in the promotion of this Bible. My concern is the widespread ignorance concerning the major role of the Bible in the founding of America. My concern is the accusations of "Christian Nationalism" by those who use it as a weapon to try and silence those like me who have documented and emphasize America's overt Christian origins.

That the Bible played a major role in the founding of America was highlighted in a 1982 article in Newsweek magazine, entitled “How the Bible Made America.” The authors showed the Bible’s impact on the founding of America in vivid fashion and wrote,

For centuries, the Bible has exerted an unrivaled influence on American culture, politics, and social life. Now historians are discovering that the Bible, perhaps even more than the Constitution, is our founding document: the source of the powerful myth of the United States as a special, sacred nation, a people called by God to establish a model of society, a beacon to the world (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 7).

The following are just a few of the many evidences that the Bible played a major role in the founding of America.

The Continental Congress Opens with Bible Reading

The earliest immigrants to America were children of the Reformation, which means they held to the principle of sola Scriptura, or “Scripture alone.” This meant that they saw the Bible, not the pope or bishop, as their primary guide for faith and morality. The Bible was the book, more than any other, to be read and applied to all of life.

The Great Awakening (1726-70), which had a profound impact on the 13 colonies, produced an even greater love and respect for the Bible. The Bible was, in fact, the most popular book in America at the time of its founding. Even the most nonreligious Founders regularly quoted from the Bible.

It is, therefore, not surprising that when the delegates to the First Continental Congress met on September 5, 1774, they opened with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. Rev. Jacob Dusche, who became their chaplain, began by reading the entire 35th Psalm to the assembled delegates, which included George Washington, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, and others.

The reading of that Psalm produced a powerful impact on all those present. John Adams described this impact in a letter to his wife Abigail. In describing the reading of that Psalm, he wrote,

It was enough to melt a heart of stone. I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seems as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read that day. I saw tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave pacific Quakers of Philadelphia. I must beg you to read that Psalm (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 108).

Dusche became their chaplain, and every subsequent session of this Congress was opened with Bible reading and prayer.

Congress Endorses the First English Bible Printed in America

The Founders’ respect for the Bible was also highlighted by their endorsement of the first English Bible printed in America in 1782. The producer of the Bible, Robert Aitken, had written a letter to Congress in which he asked for that government body’s sanction of his work. In the letter, Aitken called this Bible, “a neat Edition of the Scriptures for the use in schools.”

Congress enthusiastically responded to his request and offered the following recommendation to be included in this first English Bible printed in America.

Resolved: That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an instance of the progress of the arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.

Washington Takes the Oath of Office with His Hand on a Bible

George Washington’s great respect for the Bible was affirmed by his nephew, Robert Lewis, who served as his secretary and lived with him while he was president. Lewis said that he had accidentally witnessed Washington’s private devotions in his library and that on those occasions he had seen him in a kneeling posture with a Bible open before him, and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.

It is, therefore, not surprising that when it came time for Washington to be sworn in as America’s first president, he insisted on taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. There was no precedent that he should do this. It was his own decision and a declaration that the Bible would be the ultimate source of wisdom and guidance for his administration.

After being sworn in, Washington delivered his first inaugural address. It was no surprise to his audience that his speech was filled with references to God and the Bible. At the close of the ceremony in New York City, he and Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel where they participated in a worship service with more quotes and readings from the Bible.

The Bible Helped Shape America

The founders respect for the Bible was verified in a ten-year project to discover where they got their ideas for America’s founding documents. This exhaustive study found that although they quoted ancient writers of Greece and Rome and contemporary writers of the Enlightenment, the single most cited authority in their writings was, by far, the Bible (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, Second Edition, 69).

The Bible was the lens through which they interpreted everything they read and studied. The well-known Catholic scholar, William Novak, has said,

Everywhere that reason led, Americans found the Bible. If they read Francis Bacon, they found the Bible. If they read Isaac Newton or John Milton, they found the Bible. In Shakespeare, they found the Bible. In the world of the founders, the Bible was an unavoidable and useful rod of measurement, a stimulus to intellectual innovation (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 16).

Andrew Jackson, America’s 7th president, understood this. He once gestured toward a Bible and declared, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.” Teddy Roosevelt, America’s 27th president, said, “No other book of any kind ever written in English has ever so affected the whole life of a people.”

This is not to say that early Americans lived up to the Biblical standard. Far from it! However, they all agreed that the Bible, particularly the teachings of Jesus, was the moral standard and goal toward which all should strive. 

Keeping the Bible as the standard had far-reaching results. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, who regularly quoted from the Bible, often pointed out that it was Jesus' Sermon on the Mount that inspired the dignified, nonviolent social action of the Civil Rights Movement.

Yes, it was the Bible that made America great and enabled her to overcome slavery, Jim Crow, and so many other societal ills.

A Revival of Biblical Values

From the above brief overview, it is obvious that those who say associating the Bible with America is dangerous and un-American are grossly uninformed. My concern, therefore, is not that Donald Trump is promoting the “God Bless the USA Bible.” My concern is that so many in Washington D.C. and throughout the nation no longer respect the Bible as a source of moral wisdom and guidance. 

For example, in 2019, the Democrat National Committee (DNC) unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality. In other words, “We don’t need God or the Bible!”

This rejection of Biblical values and truth has left the nation adrift on a sea of moral confusion, Our only salvation is a national spiritual awakening that will restore reason, common sense, and a respect for God’s word. Such an awakening will restore respect for the Bible as held by the Founders and expressed by Abraham Lincoln who in 1864 commented on the Bible, saying,

In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.

So, in answer to all the secularist, anti-Christian critics, I loudly and unapologetically declare that I prefer the moral values of Jesus and the Bible over those of Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, and Levine, and the secularist, woke ideology they have embraced. America's Founders would obviously agree! 

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s books, 1726: The Year that Defined America, and America’s Revival Heritage, Second Edition, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com