S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
To every thing we call a cause we ascribe power to produce the effect. In intelligent causes, the power may be without being exerted; so I have power to run when I sit still or walk. But in inanimate causes we conceive no power but what is exerted, and therefore measure the power of the cause by the effect which it actually produces. The power of an acid to dissolve iron is measured by what it actually dissolves.
Logicians distinguish two kinds of operations of the mind: the first kind produces no effect without the mind; the last does. The first they call immanent acts, the second transitive. Conceiving, as well as projecting or resolving, are what the schoolmen called immanent acts of the mind, which produce nothing beyond themselves. But painting is a transitive act, which produces an effect distinct from the operation, and this effect is the picture.
The laws of nature are the rules according to which effects are produced; but there must be a cause which operates according to these rules. The rules of navigation never steered a ship, nor the law of gravity never moved a planet.
When we make our own thoughts and passion, and the various operations of our minds, the objects of our attention, either while they are present or when they are recent and fresh in our memory, this act of the mind is called reflection. Attention is the energy of the mind directed towards things present. Reflection has to do with things past and the ideas of them. Attention may employ the organs of the body. Reflection is purely a mental operation.
Will is an ambiguous word, being sometimes put for the faculty of willing; sometimes for the act of that faculty; besides other meanings. But volition always signifies the act of willing, and nothing else.