Volition is the actual exercise of the power the mind has to order the consideration of any idea, or the forbearing to consider it; or to prefer the motion of any part of the body to its rest by directing any particular action or its forbearance.
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.
There is as much difference between the approbation of the judgment, and the actual volitions of the will, as between a mans viewing a desirable thing with his eye, and reaching after it with his hand.
It is necessary to form a distinct notion of what is meant by the word volition in order to understand the import of the word will; for this last word expresses the power of mind of which volition is the act.
To say that we cannot tell whether we have liberty, because we do not understand the matter of volition, is all one as to say that we cannot tell whether we see or hear, because we do not understand the manner of sensation.