GOD A VOLUTARY BEIG. 93 antagonistic, and so neutralize one another, as to the produc- tion of action, by their mutual conflict; or because we our- selves make an effort to modify and subdue them, so that they may not lead to action, but that this, their natural ten- dency, may in the particular case be counteracted. The last class of cases introduces to our notice a new and distinct power, of remarkable character and of great import- ance. There is something that interposes between my feel- ings and the action which, if nothing interposed, would be the natural and certain result of them; something that judges of the quality of my feelings, whether they be worthy of being carried into effect or not, and finally determines that they shall or shall not be so. What, or I might rather say, who is this] For it seems as though there were some mysterious person here stepping in, and modifying, or even arresting, a course of sequences otherwise direct and inevi- table. The faculty which is thus interposed between the feelings and their resulting action is will. After the feelings have been excited, there is required an exercise of the will, an act of volition or determination, before action can take place; and this exercise of the will lies with that mysterious personage, myself, who, conscious of my own feelings, and passing judgment upon them, either for repression or indul- gence, ultimately determines what shall be done. Allow me to illustrate this general statement by an example. I am, let it be supposed, in circumstances in which I may with impunity commit a robbery say, steal a sum of money. The possession of this money is on various grounds attractive to me, and my desires are excited towards it; I do not take it, however. Why? Because I sit in judgment on those excited feelings, condemn them as wrong, and by proper considerations correct and suppress them ; and I consequently determine to let the money alone. Or sup- pose I have received an injury, which kindles my resent- ment, indeed, but which I am strongly disposed to forgive.