This quote comes at the very end of Chapter Two of this amazing tale and refers to the way in which the course of Frankenstein's education and his particular focus seems to have been set out from the dawn of time by Destiny and was unavoidable. At the end of this chapter he narrates how he became disenchanted with his previous focus on Natural Philosophy and was drawn more to the "solid foundations" of mathematics and its associated disciplines. Looking back on this time of his life, Frankenstein describes it as:
...the last effort made by the spirit of preservation to avert the storm that was even then hanging in the stars.
Yet, at the end of the day, even this noble effort of "the spirit of preservation" was not enough to deter Destiny, who is too "potent" to be defeated by such a strategy. Frankenstein clearly feels that his education and its end goal of creating life in the monster was decreed to occur by Destiny, and as such, even temporary distractions would not deter him from achieving what Destiny had set out for him to do.