Since I'm on the topic of Washington (see previous post), here are some quotations from the great one which seem especially relevant for our time.

On arms and defense:
  • A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.
  • The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference --they deserve a place of honor with all that is good. 
  • To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace. 
On self-discipline:
  • Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
  • When a people shall have become incapable of governing themselves and fit for a master, it is of little consequence from what quarter he comes. 
  • Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. 
On liberty:
  • It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.
  • Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.  
  • The time is near at hand which  must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. 
On morality, character and religion:
  • How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. 
  • No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. 
  • It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
  • Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
  • To err is nature, to rectify error is glory.
  • We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times.