In 1722 Mather wrote The Angel of Bethesda, a detailed study of the prevention and cure of common illnesses. Arguing that disease is the result of sin, he found a direct connection between the mind and the body. He also discussed techniques of psychotherapy (treatment of mental illness). Another important feature of the work was Mather's explanation of microorgasims (germs) as the cause of disease, a theory then being debated in Europe but not yet well known in America. Mather also kept a diary (published in 1911, 1912, and 1976), which ultimately expanded to seventeen volumes. The diary reveals the extent of Mather's anguish and profound disappointment in life.
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