Youth's Magazine,  3rd ser. 10 (1837), 193–99.

Conversations at Carringford Lodge. No. II. What am I?  [2/8]

R C, Penryn, pseud.  [Richard Cope]


Serial, Short Fiction


Human Species, Immorality, Piety, Reading, Ancient Authorities, Natural Theology

People mentioned:


    The lesson concerning human depravity is reinforced in Edwin's mind by the vicar's sermon. He reflects: 'I too, am an imperfect creature, pleased with the use of the powers which God has bestowed upon me, delighted with my various attainments in literature and science; but still unsatisfied. [...] Wealth, honors, pleasures, science [...] still leave the proprietor poor' (193–94). He converses with his father on the subject. Mr Ravenstone observes that those who have 'most carefully studied human nature, even among the pagans, have acknowledged [...] an inward depravation and corruption'. Edwin recalls that 'it was on this account that Pythagoras changed the name of wise men, into lovers of wisdom'. (196) Edwin is convinced that 'man is an imperfect creature, utterly unable to know either God or himself without a revelation', but his father points out that 'Nature and Providence both deserve the name of revelations, though they are "dim, distant, and low", indeed, when compared with the gospel'. When Edwin enquires whether nature can 'give mankind some practical knowledge of their duty, and of the things of God', his father replies that it 'may, perhaps, but never did', and gives examples of the religious ignorance of the ancients. (197)

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