Conversations on Carringford Lodge. No. VIII. Why am I Here? [8/8]
R C, Penryn, pseud. [Richard Cope]
Serial, Short Fiction
Design, Piety, Wonder, Endeavour, Natural Theology, Materialism, Immortality, Biblical Authority, Time, Instruments, Sound, Observation, Wonder
Edwin reflects in private upon the topics of his father's lecture, and reviews the questions presented to him as recorded in his common-place book. 'He saw himself in the centre of a boundless circle, and whether he surveyed the heavens above or the earth below, or the plants and animals which existed on its surface—all was wonderful' (410). He is moved to utter a hymn of humble praise. He condemns himself for his 'slothfulness, in not manifesting a greater industry and activity in cultivating the powers of his mind' (411). He writes an essay on preparing for a future state ('a better country'), which is reproduced in the narrative. Edwin opines that knowledge of a future state comes entirely from revelation, 'for Nature, by its changes, led to the doctrine of materialism'. (411) Considers that reason indicates 'a state of future felicity', but that it 'can do no more than conjecture' (412). Imagines the scene in hell: 'The pendulum moves heavily, and as it moves gives vibration to the doleful, heart-rending sound, which fills accursed spirits with ten-fold horror—"Ever—ever—ever!"' (414). Mr. Ravenstone is pleased with the essay, observing that he has learned that 'Nature', 'Providence', and 'Grace' are 'ample fields for his continued observation. He continues: 'Nature and providence improved and sanctified, lead us to grace; and grace points to eternal glory' (415).
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