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[221] Essential to its working also was the assumption that each stage was lifted into the next higher stage by the addition of some external force. It will be observed that this gave Hopkins a full-fledged evolutionary process, worked, however, not from within but from without, by means of accessions of matter and force effected by an external artificer. It was this last phase of his theory that gradually drew to itself the chief emphasis and the most important functions of the whole, and became in Hopkins's hands his great instrument of liberation.

To Hopkins's thinking, the evolutionary philosophy threatened the destruction of personality, the personality of God and of man, both of whom seemed about to be swallowed up in a mechanistic nature. Hopkins has no illusions on the subject. Charm she never so wisely, Nature cannot persuade him of her virtue. She is not, except in some very early Platonistic effusions of his, the symbol of a divine moral order, but is rather a machine grinding out uniform cycles under mechanical necessity, and making no answer to the human demand for purpose and freedom. These elements must be supplied from without; and it is a detached Deity who supplies them.

The germ of this portion of Hopkins's system appears in one of his earliest published works, that entitled On the argument from nature for the divine existence (1833), a review of Whewell's Bridgewater Treatise on Astronomy and General physics considered with reference to natural theology. Here Hopkins already discredits the ‘argument from design’ and finds evidence of the existence of God much less in nature than in man. Nature, though full of ‘contrivance,’ is often irrational and neither wise nor good; only in man is there found a glimmering of wisdom and goodness, only there a moral valuation,— which must be the effect of a cause not different in kind, and hence of the Deity. This argument, too, runs throughout Hopkins's system, parallel with his use of the scale of conditioning and conditioned; so that when he beholds the menace of the evolutionary philosophy, he has his weapons ready.

Tyndall's Belfast address (1874), with its assertion of the complete immanence of all the developing forces within matter itself, realized Hopkins's worst fears; and thenceforth he held evolutionism to this its extreme logic. With a flexibility that

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