In my "Life of Vincent Priessnitz" I have not only given a full and particular account of the Founder of Hydropathy, but I have also made some brief reference to his forerunners in the use of water as a medicinal agent. It is there shown that, so far back as history allows us to go, mankind had recognised the therapeutic value of water, and in some cases had made its use a part of the accepted religious observance of the time. In the early times the clearest and keenest minds could see no distinction, or at least they could grant no valid dissociation, between purity of body and purity of thought. They held that if there was impurity in the body there could be no real purity in that which, if not an out-growth from the body, is at any rate so closely allied thereto that it cannot help taking most of its colouring from it, or at least being greatly influenced thereby.
We have fallen away from that faith in these degenerate days, and though we hear much talk about baths and bathing, we Christians of Europe are a dirty generation in comparison with some of the people of Pagan times, who, not having risen to the nice distinction of body and soul, held man to be a single and indivisible entity, and that therefore what affected a part affected the whole.