is essential to the well being of a state, and is
ruinous when it passes its bounds.
It has been said that the world is governed too much; no statesman has ever said that there should be no government at all. Anarchy is at one extreme, and the pantheistic despotism, which is the absorption of the people into one man as the sovereign, at the other.
All governments contain the two opposite tendencies; and were either attraction or repulsion, central power or individuality, to disappear, civil order would be crushed or dissolved.
The state has always for its life-giving principle the idea of right; the condition of facts can never perfectly represent that idea; and unless this antagonism also is reconciled, no durable constitution can be formed, and government totters of itself to its fall, or is easily overthrown.
Here, then, is another cause of division; one party clings to the bequests of the past, and another demands reform; the fanatics for conservatism are met by enthusiasts for ideal freedom, while there is always an effort to bring the established order into a nearer harmony with the eternal law of justice.
These principles have manifested their power in every country in every stage of its existence, and must be respected, or society will perish in chaotic confusion or a stagnant calm.
The duty of impartiality in accounting for political conflicts, is then made easy, if behind every party there lies what an English poet has called ‘an eternal thought,’ and if the generating cause of every party, past, or present, or hereafter possible, is a force which is never absent, which in its proper proportion is essential to the wellbeing of society, and which turns