DISCIPLINE IN THE CHURCH.
IN the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol resides a wealthy Whig Rector, Mr. LNURENCE TOWNSEND. This gentleman has the good fortune to possess the living of Bishop's Cleeve, and the bad luck to have Lord ELLENBOROUGH for a parishioner, and the Tory Dr. MONK for his diocesan. It appears that Lord ELLENBOROUGH'S DiOUS sensibility is dreadfully shocked by the state of religion in Bishop's Cicero ; and on a recent visit of Dr. MONK to Southam, where the great Lay Sinecurist passes all the time he can spare from politics in holy meditation and mortification of the flesh, the melancholy con- dition of the Cleevites was so powerfully represented to the Spiritual Lord, that he immediately directed Archdeacon Tenn RILL and three other clergymen, to inquire how it came to pass that the Church did not flourish in Bishop's Cleeve. The precise terms of the report which these venerable persons delivered does not appear ; but we learn from a correspondence between Dr. MONK and Mr. TOWNS- END; published in the Morning Chronicle this week, that it " im- putes no blame of neglect or otherwise" to Mr. TOWNSEND or his Curate. These are Bishop Moss's own words. But though the Rector may be diligent and his Curate zealous, it does so happen that few persons are edified by their ministrations. The Bishop draws Mr. TOWNSEND'S attention to a circumstance of which that gentleman could scarcely have been ignorant—that there are "very small congregations at the morning service at the church of Cleeve." Well, whose 'fink is that ? There is no complaint against the parson of the parish. The people themselves are to blame. They like chapel better than church, or amusement on a Sunday‘better than either. But the Bishop proposes a remedy. As the amusement-loving or chapel-going laity cannot be induced to attend op service, it is recommended that two should be offered
"I consider it to be my duty to require that two full services, each including a sermon or lecture, shall be performed on every Sunday throughout the year in the church of Cleeve ; and you will understand that this is hereby directed." Mr. TOWNSEND'S evening service will probably be performed for the benefit of himself anehis clerk—" dearly beloved Roger." But a service there must be—prayers and a sermon : the Bishop com- mands, and the Rector perforce obeys.
Another receipt for making Churchmen in Cleeve, is the exclu- sion of strangers from Mr. TOWNSEND'S pulpit. Variety is pre- sumed to propagate Dissent or indifference in the diocese of Gloucester. Dr. Moyle complains that, occasionally, service is performed at Bishop's Cheese by persons. not licensed by himself; and he forbids the practice- " I have Ito doubt, that this has arisen from the accidental absence, or per- haps indisposition, of yourself or your Citrate ; nnd I have no reason to question the fitness of the persons emplogul ; but I must desire, that in future, whenever it is tbund necessary to employ. in any hint of your parish, a person who is nut already beneficed or licensed in my diocese, T mar be previoutly ap- prized of his name and residence, and thereby enabled to male proper inquiries respecting him."
This is very like a reflection on Dr. MONK'S past or present brethren of the mitre, who must have licensed the " persons em- ployed" by Mr. TOWNSEND ; and the prohibition of their appear- ance in his diocese, is a stretch of prelatical power which few Bishops would think it prudent or courteous to make.
The third and last point in Dr. Mome's objurgation, has reference to the state of the hamlet of Gotherington, where "two-thirds of the inhabitants are Dissenters !"—
" This extraordinary eircumstance is attributed, with much tility, to the distance of this hamlet from the parish-church, and the badness 0.. the roads. But, however this may be, it appears to me highly desirable, and evcit neves- sarv, that a chapel silent! 1 reefed in this loanlet. One of dimensiolis capable of holding. two Innulrea persons would he sufficient. Stub an tii:iee may be erecte.l. in o ,autt and appropriate styk, firr a rely nuuh lett, vvn : I1l I I trui Slat you will exert yourself to promote this work ; without which, !km' p nh your/leek be unable to enjoy the due advanbwcs of our 1...qablisioo Cluo, h."
This is cool. By a 1.m:on arrangement, the diocese of (-;loueester has becit raised fro as a rs.or to a wealthy. bishopric ; but I )r. MoN K does not olfer a sixpence himself towards the erection of the pro- posed new chapel. Ile recommends Mr. TowNsnNn to build an edifice hi " a neat and appropriate style ;" the parson, \ye presume, to be paid by Mr. Tow NSEND, and the chapel, no doubt, to be kept up by rates levied on the Nonconformi,t population. Such is the Episcupal thshion f cheek big Dissent and propagating Church-of- Englandisin. The schemes of reform by Dr. Mosac and his fellows are based upon the extortion of money from the laity, the diminu- tion of the emoluments of the infeslor clergy, and the enlargement of their own power and patronage.
Assailed from without, the Church is not sound within. " We have a Calvinistic creed," said Lord CHATHAM, " a Popish liturgy, and an Arminian clergy." To judge from the " Oxford Tracts," and other cognate writings, with the high Church strictures upon them, we infer that the clew, assimilating to the liturgy, has be conic considerably " Popish' too since CHATHAM'S days. But it is not merely from the sproad of heterodoxy and the zeal of Dissenters that the Establishment is endangered: the high and haughty de- meanour of the Church's Prelates creates disgust and disatis- fitetion, which spreads wide and sinks deep. Mr. TowNsI:N3:. wealthy and well-connected, could " bell the eat" with his Bishop; but how many timid and dependent clergymen are compelled with bitter humility to sustain in silence more piling insults than Dr. MoN K Ventured to offer to the Rector of Bishop's Clccve! We have known c•Ises of' the hard insolence of' Bishops towards poor parsons, which make the gorge rise. Dogmatical repr(mt;:, scorn- ful gibes, cold neglect, and all the vulgar impertinence of low per- sons unduly exalted above their betters, are 1.uly endured by the dependent and laborious men of (hod, whose zeal and steadtlist performance of their duties draw congregations together. There is no affectionate communion between the Bishops and the work- ing clergy. The former subscribe themselves, with mock hu- mility, " fitithlbl brothers and servants" of the latter; but they will allow them to wait by the hour in their palace-halls, and order them to call again, and again, to receive it repri- mand. These matters are differently ordered amongst the Pa- pists. Adversity has knit their clergy of all ranks in one firm bond of' union. Their Bishops are not Lords of Parliament, flaunthet in purple and fine linen, and riding in pomp to the house of worship ; but men of moderate habits and income, and without political privileges above their fellows. On this system the Pro- le.strtnt Episcopalian Church flourishes in the United States of' Ame- rica. We believe that five thousand dollars--rather more than 1,000/. sterling—is the largest salary of an American Bishop : seve- ral receive less : but they are all efficient, industrious ministers of religion, and conciliatory in their demeanour to men of all ranks ; so their sect flourishes. Whether the Church of Eughind is des- tined to withstand the storm which gathers around it, remains per- imps for the next generation to know ; but there is small chance of' salvation in the erection of new churches, memorials to CRANMER; or such specimens of Episcopal discipline as the passage between Dr. MONK and Mr. LAURENCE TOWNSEND exhibits.* * Since the above was in type, we have read in the Times a long letter from Lord ELLENBOROUGH to Mr. TOWNSEND, in reply to one limn 'the reverend gentleman complaining. that Lord Er.r.Extionounn had publicly expressed disapprobation of the favourable report of the Bishop's Commissioners. Lord ELLEN1101201:GH denies having made the observation in public, but he admits his disapprobation ; and reads Mr. Towsssso a leeture on the negls-Tt of his duties, particularly with reference to some ebarity-schools supported by his Lordshm,—laying much stress on the handsome income paid to the parson for doing so little. Mr. TOWNSEND might litirly retort, that Lord ET.LENRO■ ROUGH takes annually a larger stun from the public for doing nothing. It. seems, indeed, a quarrel between the " pot and the kettle ;" but of the two, the lordly utensil shows most dirt/