Benjamin Franklin bifocals

On this day in 1788, the U.S. Constitution is ratified, which currently makes it the most long-standing written constitution in the world.

The Constitution is the second of two of Our essential founding documents. The first is the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration explains the foundation of Our nation, and contains several direct references to God.

The Constitution explains how our nation is to function, and is firmly rooted in the Declaration, which explains the why. So, despite the apostate assertion that God, certainly not the God of the Bible, is not ‘in’ the Constitution, it is clear that He is indeed inherent and indispensable.

Roots of Religion

First, when the framers used the term “religion,” as in the First Amendment, they were referring to the Protestant denominations of Christianity. After all, it was the Anglican Church that was the state religion when the colonies were under British rule.

Additionally, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” is to prevent one of these denominations from becoming a state religion once again. It does not lend itself to pluralism or even neutrality in regards to faith, as some would pervert the meaning of the phrase “separation of church and state.” Besides, that phrase that does not appear in Our founding documents.

Also, Article I, Section 7 states: “If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it.…” Sundays. Not Fridays (Islam). Not Saturdays (Judaism). Not any other day of the week. Sundays.

After all, the Constitution was Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven..,”

In addition, the Year of our Lord, as in Anno Domini, as in A.D. Not C.E. (Common Era) and not A.H. (Anno Hegirae).

Franklin and the Father

Finally, regarding years, Benjamin Franklin was the elder statesman (81 years old) at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. There, he urged the Assembly toward daily prayer to seek guidance from “the Father of Lights.” In doing so, he said this:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

His famous quote, paired with his sketch of bifocals in his personal correspondence, inspired our “Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” t-shirt design, as seen below. So, find yours HERE!

Benjamin Franklin bifocals

Benjamin Franklin t-shirt

On this day in 1787, delegates from every state except Rhode Island convened (appropriately) in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention.

The delegates met at what we now know as Independence Hall in order to compose the U.S. Constitution. That very building had earlier seen the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Articles of Confederation.

Virginia delegate and Revolutionary War hero George Washington was elected convention president.  In 1789, the U.S. Constitution became the law of the land.

The Affairs of Men

At the Convention, an 81 year old Benjamin Franklin, a delegate of Pennsylvania, appealed for prayers:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

So, that quote, and his own sketch of the bifocals he invented, inspired the artwork for Our Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” t-shirt:

Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” a quote from the Constitutional Convention

Get yours in Our Shop, HERE.

 

Benjamin Franklin Epitaph

On this day in 1790, preeminent Founding Father, and “The First American,” Benjamin Franklin dies at age 84 in his adopted home of Philadelphia.

Franklin served as a legislator in Pennsylvania, as a diplomat in England and France, and this prolific patriot (who was also a printer, scientist, statesman, etc.) is the only person to have signed the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).

Even in his early twenties, his wit and wisdom was on full display. For today’s post, it’s especially noteworthy that in 1728 he wrote his own epitaph, revising and sharing it with friends throughout his life. Here is one such version, with a copy below:

The Body of Ben Franklin Printer,
Like the Cover of an old Book
Its contents torn out
And stript of its Lettering & Gilding,
Lies here Food for the Worms,
yet the Work shall not be lost:
For it will, as he believed, appear once more
In a new & most beautiful Edition,
Corrected and amended by the Author.

Benjamin Franklin Epitaph

Benjamin Franklin “lived a long time…”

At age 81, as the elder statesman at the Constitution Convention in his adopted home, Franklin urged the Assembly toward morning “prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on [their] deliberations.” In so doing, he made this famous quote, which inspired Our Benjamin Franklin shirt:

Benjamin Franklin Our Lost Founding t-shirt

On this day in 1933, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, repealing the 18th Amendment. Thus, it was the end of national prohibition of alcohol in America.

Proof

On that note, in 1779, while in France, Benjamin Franklin wrote this to his friend André Morellet (translated from French):

“We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana, as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, and which incorporates itself with the grapes to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy!

Similarly, see a “convincing proof” on Our Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” olive green t-shirt in the Shop:

benjamin-franklin-bifocals

Benjamin Franklin bifocals

On this day in 1777, a British surrender during the American Revolution allow the Patriots secure a vital victory at Saratoga, New York.

As a result of that victory, King Louis XVI of France agreed to recognize the independence of the United States. Then, French Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes worked with U.S. Ambassador Benjamin Franklin to create a formal alliance. This resulted in much needed assistance, which helped the Americans win the Revolutionary War.

There is little doubt that Franklin saw this as answered prayer and another instance “of a superintending providence in our favor.” After all, he called for daily prayer at the Constitutional Convention nearly a decade later:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

Have we now forgotten?

The same questions he asked during that address bear asking again at this time in Our nation’s history:

“And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

benjamin-franklin-bifocals

US Constitution

On this day in 1787, 38 of 41 delegates in Philadelphia sign the United States Constitution, concluding the Constitutional Convention.

US Constitution

It was the first time in human history that a nation framed government with reasoned debate, and, perhaps, prayer.

During the convention, at 81 years old, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was elder statesman. As such, he urged the Assembly toward daily prayer to seek guidance from God:

“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. — Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?” 

Builders

Then, the portion of the powerful paragraph we print on Our shirts:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel…”

Finally, we paired a portion of Franklin’s famous quote with his sketch of bifocals found in his personal correspondence. These elements inspired Our “Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” t-shirt design:

benjamin-franklin-bifocals

Previous US Constitution Posts

Please peruse Our previous posts on the Constitution and the Constitutional Convention below:

https://ourlostfounding.com/constitutional-convention-convenes/

 

Declaration of Independence signatures

On this day in 1776, fifty-six delegates of the Second Continental Congress add their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

Eight of these 56 signers were born in Britain.

Declaration of Independence signatures


Exactly one month prior, on July 2nd, the Congress accepted this resolution put forth by Richard Henry Lee:

“Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Then, two days later, on July 4th, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, put forth by the “Committee of Five.” The Committee consisted of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston, although Jefferson wrote most of the Declaration with the others suggesting edits.

Finally, Timothy Matlack, a brewer known for his exceptional penmanship, likely engrossed Declaration on parchment. Parchment is animal skin that has been treated with lime and stretched.

Most importantly, the Declaration contains no less than four references to Almighty God, active in Our affairs: “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” “Creator,” “Supreme Judge of the world,” and “divine Providence.”

Sealed

Currently, this copy is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Interestingly, these “Charters of Freedom” are in gold plated frames encased in ballistically resistant titanium and aluminum. Additionally, the encasement contain inert gas argon and a controlled level of humidity.

Also, for more on the Declaration of Independence, please revisit Our July 2nd and July 4th posts:

https://ourlostfounding.com/illuminations-one-end-continent/

Olive Branch Petition

On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition. So, they send a letter directly to King George III, expressing hope for reconciliation with Great Britain. This was the final attempt to avoid a war of independence.

Among those who signed the Olive Branch letter were John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. In the image below, you will almost certainly recognize the famous signature of another signer.

Congress shipped the letter by boat on July 8, 1775. King George III received it six weeks later.

…[W]e therefore pray, that your Majesty’s royal magnanimity and benevolence may make the most favourable constructions of our expressions on so uncommon an occasion.”

 He summarily dismissed the petition, and the rebellion soon became a world war.

Indispensable obligations…

Here’s a longer excerpt:

“Knowing to what violent resentments and incurable animosities civil discords are apt to exasperate and inflame the contending parties, we think ourselves required by indispensable obligations to Almighty God, to your Majesty, to our fellow-subjects, and to ourselves, immediately to use all the means in our power, not incompatible with our safety, for stopping the further effusion of blood, and for averting the impending calamities that threaten the British Empire.”

Olive Branch Petition

Benjamin Franklin Lightning Experiment with kite

On this day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducts his famous experiment in which he flies a kite during a thunderstorm. The experiment demonstrated the electrical nature of lightning. From that, Franklin invented the lightning rod, and coined several terms we use today such as electrician, battery, and conductor.

Franklin was one of our preeminent founding fathers, having served as a legislator in Pennsylvania, as a diplomat in England and France, and he is the only politician to have signed the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the U.S. Constitution (1787).

Convincing Proofs

Clearly, Benjamin Franklin was one of our most prolific American patriots, if not the most. Nearing the end of his full and storied life, he petitioned for prayer at Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

His quote, and his sketch of another of his inventions, the bifocals, inspired Our Benjamin Franklin shirt. Get yours HERE.

Benjamin Franklin Lightning Experiment

 

Benjamin Franklin Join or Die

On this day in 1754, the first American newspaper political cartoon was published in the Benjamin Franklin owned Pennsylvania Gazette. The illustration showed a snake cut into sections, each representing an American colony with the caption, “JOIN, or DIE.”

Benjamin Franklin Join or Die

Franklin originally designed the cartoon and text to unite the colonies against the French in the French and Indian War.

In 1765, American colonists began to use it to unite the colonies against the British.

What meaning would you ascribe to it today?

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, an 81 year old Benjamin Franklin united the Founders behind prayer, with this quote that inspired Our shirt below:

“I have lived a long time, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”

Benjamin Franklin "See... God governs" t-shirt

Elias Boudinot

On this day in 1740, Patriot Elias Boudinot is born in Philadelphia. Interestingly, his father was Benjamin Franklin’s neighbor and friend.

Boudinot was a colonel in the Continental Army, and president of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783. As such, he was a signatory of the Treaty of Paris, which ended hostilities with Britain.

He also studied law at what is now Princeton University in office of Richard Stockton. Stockton was his brother-in-law and a asigner of the Declaration of Independence.

Next, Boudinot represented New Jersey in the House of Representatives and was director of the US Mint under Presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

The Whole of this Business

Finally, Boudinot served as president of the American Bible Society at its founding in 1816 until his death in 1821. Americans committed to the word of God and to ending slavery founded the Society with the purpose of distributing Bibles.

So, in his letter of acceptance, he wrote:

“I am so convinced that the whole of this business is the work of God himself, by his Holy Spirit, that even hoping against hope I am encouraged to press on through good report and evil report, to accomplish his will on earth as it is in heaven. So apparent is the hand of God in this disposing the hearts of so many men, so diversified in their sentiments as to religious matters of minor importance, and uniting them as a band of brothers in this grand object that even infidels are compelled to say, ‘It is the work of the Lord, and it is wonderful in our eyes!’ Having this confidence, let us go on and we shall prosper.”

Clearly, Elias Boudinot and his childhood neighbor Benjamin Franklin believed “the hand of God” “governs in the affairs of men.”

Elias Boudinot

 

Benjamin Franklin “See… God Governs” closeup