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."
"THE first edition of this work, published in 1897, appeared under the pseudonym of " M . W. Wiseman," at the instance of an amateur publisher of unhappy memory, who was prepared to back his opinion that works of a freethinking character had a much better chance of sale when published under names not previously known in that connection. Not seriously sharing that opinion, the author was fain to do his part by writing the book with, perhaps, more than his usual care. To avert perplexity, he may now explain that his identity was originally safeguarded by some gibes at his own expense in the text. Taken by themselves, these might even now lead critical readers to doubt his authorship; but the doubters would be wrong. The text is all from "this unworthy hand."
"Some reasons which in the past led me to decline invitations to republish the book having ceased to operate, it is now re-issued, after revision, in the belief that, despite schematic defects, it sets forth a number of particular historical truths that are still commonly obscured, and a general sociological truth which is no less commonly missed. The main problem faced was, What is it that keeps ecclesiastical organizations going, in the face of the most destructive criticism of their creeds? Obviously enough, they subsist by the exploitation of a persisting appetite; this being true alike of the mummeries of the "medicine-man" and the ministrations of all the Churches of Christendom. But one of the marks of modern civilization has been, for some five centuries past, the progressive discrediting of all serious pleas for the
truth of the Christian creed, in general or in any particular; and still, as the entrepreneurs complacently claim, the organizations hold together and the revenues (the grand test) appear to keep up, despite a steady chorus of complaint over the non-appearance of worshippers on Sunday."