and his influence upon the country of his adoption, although considerable, is as nothing compared to the influence of the country upon him.
The wonderful growth of the Catholic Church was of course due to the immigration, especially of the Irish. In colonial times Roman Catholicism had not been tolerated. When complete religious freedom was established, with the organization of the new government, the Catholics began to come in, and soon after the Revolution they built a church; but its congregation led a fitful life for the first thirty years. There were years of prosperity, when a convent, a school, etc., were established; and years of adversity, when they were abandoned. The congregation was, of course, composed mainly of immigrants, chiefly Irish, even thus early; but there were enough Germans and French to make it necessary to hold services also in those languages. But on the whole the Church at this time languished, and religious instruction and supervision were provided for but a small portion of the Catholic immigrants. Accordingly, they and their children became to a very large extent Protestant. After the close of the War of 1812, matters were radically changed. New York became the permanent seat of a bishopric, a multitude of priests came in, churches were built, and the whole organization sprang into vigorous life. The immense Irish