We sharply distinguish that freedom which is the prerogative of human action from the necessary causation discoverable in nature.
It connects the moral world by a deductive process with the fundamental idea of knowledge and being; it offers a view of the entire world of human action which at all events aims at being exhaustive; it presents an arrangement of the matter of the science which tabulates its constituents after the model of the physical sciences; and it supplies a sharply defined treatment of specific moral phenomena in their relation to the fundamental idea of human life as a whole.
Every human action is inevitably conditioned by what surrounds him and by his own body.
Our conception of the degree of freedom often varies according to differences in the point of view from which we regard the event, but every human action appears to us as a certain combination of freedom and inevitability.
If in a thousand years even one man in a million could act freely, that is, as he chose, it is evident that one single free act of that man's in violation of the laws governing human action would destroy the possibility of the existence of any laws for the whole of humanity.
P. Marsh in Man and Nature, or Physical Geography as modified by Human Action (London, 1864).