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In a dynamic move that surprises everyone at Raveloe, Silas Marner gives more importance to the discovery of Eppie than to the loss of the money. To Silas, the gold went " to I don't know where", while the gold-haired baby came "from I don't know where". Hence, he makes the connection that one was sent by Providence, or divine authority, to replace the other.
Hence, Silas recognizes that, during the time he spent working nearly 16- hour days just for the sake of earning more gold, he still did not have anything to center his life around. What to do with so much collected gold? The first thing is that someone as greedy as that becomes used to the idea of "a lot of gold" and ends up not even wanting to spend it. Then, what is the point?
Hence, when Silas decides to adopt and keep the child, he displays paternal skills and a sort of altruistic love that nobody ever saw coming. Moreover, he is entirely pleased with the "swap" of gold that led to having the baby with him. This goes to show the extent to which Silas, town's pariah and enigmatic figure, is actually a good Christian.
Therefore, the hope that Silas has is that of investing his time and energy on Eppie, and re-center his life around her. Moreover, he really and truly wants to "learn on his own", and this much he tells those who are trying to help him.
... “I'll be glad if you'll tell me things. But,” he added uneasily, leaning forward to look at Baby [...]“but I want to do things for it myself, else it may get fond o' somebody else, and not fond o' me. I've been used to fending for myself in the house—I can learn, I can learn.”
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