Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828:
Patriotism, n. Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protect its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, © 2004:
Patriotism, n. Love for or devotion to one’s country.
Note how the definitions have changed. With its objective actions, Noah Webster’s patriotism is very different from the vague, subjective patriotism of one who only feels love for his country. True patriotism is not just an emotional feeling; it is action.
Webster’s original definition starts with a love for country, but moves to specific actions; service to country, defense of country, protection of the rights of country, maintenance of the laws and institutions of country and preservation of religion and morality in public and private life. This kind of patriotism puts the needs of the country above personal or partisan desires, as well as above the favor of foreign nations.
“So the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 6:24
In God We Still Trust, Dr. Richard G. Lee
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