McCabe writes about Robertson the following:
"Mr. Robertson has been the most considerable force in English Rationalism since the death of Bradlaugh, to whom he was greatly attached. His works on comparative mythology, as bearing on the problem of Christ (whose historicity he denies —see his Christianity and Mythology, 1900, and Pagan Christs, 1903), are works of impressive learning; and his Short History of Christianity (1902) and Shorl History of Freethought (2 vols., 1915) are equally
valuable on the historical side. He drastically rejects religion in every shape, and has been for decades a powerful Rationalist and Ethical lecturer. He is at the same time a very able and critical economist, a weighty writer on certain fields of English literature, a good linguist, and an outstanding figure in the political world. No man has rendered higher service to British
Rationalism in the last four decades, and few, especially among self-educated men, have attained such reputable command of so many branches of culture." Quoted from McCabe's "Biographical Dictionary of Modern Rationalists."
Quoted from the author's "Preface."
"OTHER avocations have made difficult the due revision of this book in the light of the manifold hierological discussion of the past ten years. Since, however, I have seen no reason to give up any of its main contentions, and the growing interest in the central problem is expressed by the demand for a new edition, I have made shift to improve and expand it at the many points that had obtruded themselves for fuller consideration in the course of my general reading. And there is the further reason for removing the "out-of-print" bar under which the book has lately lain, that, latterly as formerly, its most prominent theological critics are industrious in misrepresenting its positions. In this respect neo-Unitarians and Trinitarians seem to be at one."
"For instance, Professor A. Reville, reviewing the book in theRevue de l'histoire des religions, in 1902, wrote (p . 276): ---
"It will not be exacted from us that we should follow the English from one end of his book to the other. That would involve the making of another, as large. We have sought simply to sketch the impressions which he leaves upon us. It is in particular the mythology and the legend of Krishna that he loves to present as one of the principal sources of the evangelical myth or myths. Well, this is very far-fetched (bien loin et bien force). Why make such journeys when, in order to indicate the possible source of legendary elements in the canonical narrative, one could seek it without going past Palestine, or at least Semitism?"
"It would doubtless be Quixotic to demand of a professional theologian that he should read a book through before condemning it; but it seems difficult so to differentiate the moral standards of the theologian and the layman as to entitle him to frame his censures without reading it at all. Professor Reville had shaped his criticism in entire ignorance of the thesis even of the second part, to which he expressly referred. So far from representing the Krishna
legend as one of the principal sources of the gospel myths, it suggests such a possibility or probability only in the case of one or two subsidiary details. Its main thesis is that the Christian writings cannot be a main source of the Krishna myth — a very different proposition. If Professor Reville had even glanced at the third part, entitled " The Gospel Myths," he would have been deterred from his egregious allegation. Had he gone through it, he would have found not a single positive assertion, and only one or two qualified suggestions,
of derivation of minor details from Krishnaism. He would doubtless remain convinced that the proposed derivations from nearer sources were fallacious; but he could scarcely have retained his preliminary belief that the unread treatise declared the main source to be India. In point of fact, he framed his indictment upon a wrong guess."