John Arrowsmith (1602-1659): None can make our souls happy but God who made them

John Arrowsmith

We must not expect more [satisfaction] from a thing than the Creator hath put into it. He never intended to put the virtue of soul-satisfying into any mere creature, but hath reserved to himself, Son and Spirit the contenting of spirits as a principal part of divine prerogative…

Certain it is that none can make our souls happy but God who made them, nor any give satisfaction to them but Christ who gave satisfaction for them. They were fashioned at first according to the image of God, and nothing short of him who is stiled the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, can replenish them. As when there is a curious impression left upon wax, nothing can adequately fill the dimensions and lineaments of it but the seal that stamped it. Other things may cumber the mind, but not content it. As soon may a trunk be filled with wisdom as a soul with wealth; and bodily substances nourished with shadows, as rational spirits fed with bodies.

Whatsoever goodness creatures have is derivative, whatsoever happiness they enjoy stands in reduction to the original of their being. The motion of immortal souls is like that of celestial bodies purely circular. They rest not without returning back to the same point whence they issued, which is the bosom of God himself. Fishes are said to visit the place of their spawning yearly, as finding it most commodious for them; and sick patients are usually sent by physicians to their native soil, for the sucking in of that air from which their first breath was received. Heaven is the place where souls were produced; the spirit of man was at first breathed in by the Father of spirits, and cannot acquiesce till he be enjoyed, and heaven in him.

– John Arrowsmith (1602-1659), Armilla Catechetica: A Chain of Principles, Aphorism I, Exercitation II, 1 & 2, p. 15-16

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