Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America II (1840).iv.2 ("That the opinions of democratic nations about government are naturally favorable to the concentration of power"), Appendix Y, trans. Henry Reeve, with revisions by Francis Bowen and Phillips Bradley ((New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997), vol. 2, p. 367); Œuvres, ed. André Jardin (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade), II (De la démocratie en Amérique), ed. Jean-Claude Lamberti and James T. Schleifer (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1992), 861.
There are so many senses in which this seems undeniable (and, for example, utterly Thomistic). And yet so many ways, too, in which it could also be mis-taken and mis-applied.
Men place the greatness of their idea of unity in the means, God in the ends; hence this idea of greatness, as men conceive it, leads us to infinite littleness. To compel all men to follow the same course towards the same object [(à marcher de la même, vers le même objet)] is a human conception; to introduce infinite variety of action, but so combined that all these acts lead in a thousand different ways to the accomplishment of one great design [(Introduire une variété infinie dans les actes, mais les combiner de manière à ce que tous ces actes conduisent par mille voies diverses vers l'accomplissement d'un grand dessein)], is a divine conception.
The human idea of unity is almost always barren [(stérile)]; the divine idea is infinitely fruitful [(immensément fécond)]. Men think they manifest their greatness by simplifying the means they use; but it is the purpose of God which is simple; his means are infinitely varied [(varient à l'infini)].