of volition, and therefore he is accountable for his actions.
Nor does it follow that this liberty confers the right
to do wrong
. His liberty, as we have shown, is to be understood in a sense agreeing with the coincident ideas of right
. We are all conscious, that so soon as we perceive the good
, in any case, we have a feeling of obligation
to observe it as the rule of conduct, and to avoid the contrary as wrong;
that is, each man has a conscience
. Hence, although man has the power
to do wrong, he has no right
to do wrong; but only a right
to do that which is good.
Such, and such only, is the true subjective right of self control
. It is not a right to do as we may please, unless we shall please to do that which, in itself, is right;
that is, the good
His fall, we have seen, has had the effect to place him in such circumstances, that the attributes of his lower nature, his appetites, propensities, and passions, often have such ascendency as motives of action, that he is always liable to do wrong.
Many reasons, à priori
, could be given for this.
The mind is first brought into contact with the outward world through the bodily senses.
They come first into play; and hence the natural sensibilities are first developed.
The will, in the form of spontaneous volition, is accustomed, from earliest life, to act from these as a motive, for the reason