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 was little short of marvellous in one well past his threescore years and ten and confronted by a new and complex hypothesis, he seized at once the fundamental issue between evolutionism and Christianity. This, he saw, was essentially the old issue of immanence against transcendence. Many a younger mind even now fails to grasp this ultimate implication as Hopkins grasped it the moment Tyndall pointed it out; many a Christian even now thinks himself a thorough-going evolutionist when he believes that a detached God created the universe and left it thenceforth to evolve. Hopkins perceived and turned to account with much acumen these same intellectual compromises, futilities, and divisions within the camp of the evolutionists themselves. Spencer, with his utterly detached transcendent Absolute; Fiske, with his old argument from nature to his new unknowable power distinct from matter; and, Hopkins might have added, Wallace, with his several special creations of ‘higher faculties,’ one every little while;—these, clearly enough, not only were divided among themselves, but were not carrying the evolutionary argument ‘whithersoever it led.’ They were only clouding the issue. All such compromises he refused, and with an intellectual honesty and courage even more admirable than his flexibility, pushed the question to its ultimate form and squarely faced it there. About each professor of evolution he asks, in effect: ‘Does he, or does he not, say that this power is inherent in matter? If he does, he is properly an evolutionist. If he does not, . . . but says that the results are due to the action of a being . . . that is separable from matter and uses it, then he is not properly an evolutionist.’ So facing the question, Hopkins had no need of the Bishop of Oxford's weapons. For at least a generation his own mind, as if anticipating the struggle to come, had been forging its sword. Hopkins, then, uncompromisingly groups together evolutionism, with its mechanistic nature, its continuity, uniformity, necessity, law, monism, immanence, and tendency to pantheism, over against a scale of being that rises into personality, with its freedom, its choice of ends, its discontinuity, its movement per saltum, its realism as to species, its supernatural man, and its transcendent Deity. The sum of God's attributes, indeed, is that he is a person; and for Hopkins religion is faith in a
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