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

Declaration of Independence

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress selects Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to draft the Declaration of Independence. We know this remarkable group as the Committee of Five.

First, here is how the Declaration begins:
“When, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Providence and Our Pledge

Finally, how it concludes:
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Our Constitution is our ‘how’ document and this divinely inspired Declaration is our ‘why.’

Declaration of Independence

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.


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

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?”


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?” 


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:


Previous US Constitution Posts

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


The Declaration Committee John Adams Thomas Jefferson Benjamin Franklin United States

On this day in 1776, this new nation is renamed the “United States” of America, replacing “United Colonies.”

We find the formal declaration in an excerpt from a Continental Congress Journal entry, written by John Adams:

“Monday September 9, 1776.
Resolved, that in all Continental Commissions, and other Instruments where heretofore the Words, ‘United Colonies,’ have been used, the Stile be altered for the future to the United States.”

The debate about who exactly coined the name “United States of America” is unsettled. Still, the designation first formally appears twice in the Declaration of Independence. As such, the National Archives credits the name to Thomas Jefferson, the primary draftsman of the document.

Indeed, John Adams was one of the five statesmen on that ‘Declaration Comittee,’ pictured below. Benjamin Franklin was also on that outstanding committee.

Regardless, the exact origin of the name is irrelevant in comparison the overall intent of our founders.

Pulling Down Strongholds

The Declaration of Independence states:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;”

Less than three months prior, Mr. Adams wrote this as part of letter to his cousin, Zabdiel:

“Statesmen my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. . . . The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.—They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.—You cannot therefore be more pleasantly, or usefully employed than in the Way of your Profession, pulling down the Strong Holds of Satan.”


John Adams


Treaty of Paris page 1

On this day in 1783, representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris. Thus, officially ending the American Revolution.

Back in the previous September, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay, began the official peace negotiations with the British.

Here’s the opening of the Treaty:

“In the Name of the most Holy & undivided Trinity.

It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the Hearts of the most Serene and most Potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, Arch- Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire etc.. and of the United States of America, to forget all past Misunderstandings and Differences that have unhappily interrupted the good Correspondence and Friendship which they mutually wish to restore;”

Nothing to add.

Well, perhaps, other than this:
Done at Paris, this third day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three.

Treaty of Paris

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