This has significant implications for his writings - implications that Hutton rarely even hints at, let alone makes explicit. As is all too often the case with certain types of academics, Hutton pretends that he has not point of view at all.
The modern conception of "progress" as a metaphysical driving force in history has it's origins in the Christian triumphalist view of history first articulated by Eusebius, Orosius and Augustine. This hardly seems like the appropriate intellectual framework for someone investigating the history of Paganism. Unless that person is really a Jesuit agent.