VAST as is the universe, its phenomena are regular. Countless though its contents, the laws which govern these are uniform. Many though its inhabitants, that which dominates them is sovereignty. Sovereignty begins in virtue and ends in God. Therefore it is called divine.
- The term here used has been elsewhere rendered "infinite."
Of old, the empire was under the sovereignty of inaction. There was the virtue of God,—nothing more.
- Meaning, of course, Tao. In other words, all things existed under their own natural conditions.
Words being in accordance with Tao, the sovereignty of the empire was correct. Delimitations being in accordance with Tao, the duties of prince and subject were clear. Abilities being in accordance with Tao, the officials of the empire