The duties of a Christian Patriot

Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” on the duties of the Christian patriot:

“The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His word in his greatest darkness ‘a lantern to his feet and a lampt unto his paths.’ …He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, and in the estimation of her own citizens, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation. He will strive to save her from the reproach of bearing the name and disowning the obligations it imposes. He will endeavor to advance the public happiness by promoting public virtue. Whatever, therefore, can be done for the establishment of sound principles and correct habits, for the suppression of vice and the encouragement of piety, will receive his unwearied support and constitute the chief aim of his labors.”

—Francis Scott Key, “Oration Before the Washington Society of Alexandria,” 1814.

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