5 JUNE 1909, Page 25


ROBERT HERBERT STORY was eight years old when the Disruption took place. The date is appropriately fixed in this way, because be was always a militant support of the Establishment. He wits born at Rosneath, in Dumbartonshire, of which his father had been minister for some sixteen years. Robert Story the elder was one of the most conspicuous of those who did not go out. Among his reasons for this decision one, we may conjecture, was his "Broad Church" tendency, for be had been one of the few champions of MacLeod Campbell of Row. Establishments are always more tolerant then Secessions. The younger Story went to Edinburgh University in November, 1849, while still two months short of his fifteenth year. After seven years he transferred himself to St. Andrews, where he had Edward Caird among his fellow. students. In 1858 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Dumbarton, and on January 2nd in the following year preached for the first time at Rosneath. Then came a brief sojourn at Montreal, where he served under a certain Dr. Mathieson, whom he describes as " dreich in the wood, and a good bit of an old Moderate." He came back before the end of the year, reaching England on the very day of his father's funeral. Some three months later be was presented to the living by the Duke of Argyll, and he continued to hold it up to 1887, when he left it, after his election to the Professorship of Church History at Glasgow. Eleven years later he was promoted to the Principalship, vacant by the resignation of Dr. Ca,ird. This office, in which he found anything but the "dignified leisure" which was commonly attributed to it, be held for nine years, dying on January 13th, 1907. These forty-eight years were spent in strenuous work, Often done in the face of much opposition. In early days he supported Dr. Robert Lee when he introduced what were regarded by the majority of his fellow-Churchmen as shocking innovations,—a regular liturgy, responses from the congrega- tion, kneeling at prayer, standing to sing. A reform in the administration of the Communion was an inheritance from his father which he further developed. Relaxation in the sub- scription of Elders was another object for which Ile strove. On the other band, he held with firmness the integrity of the Presbyterian position. Schemes of union which seemed to derogate from this found no favour with him, and be always said what Ile thought with plainness. There were those who thought that be " sat in the seat of the scornful." Of Dr. Story's private life, of his affectionateness, his loyalty, his humour, we have a delightful picture. We must not forget to mention the interesting study from the pen of Lady Frances Balfour, the steadfast friend of the last thirty-six years of his life.