By way of information. Doth God work “all things after the counsel of His own will”? Then we infer this agent is an independent Being and Worker; If He works “all after the counsel of his own will,” then He doth not depend upon the will of another. Regeneration is not according to the will of man, but of God (John 1:13), that is, of God’s free Grace, and Divine Power; for a child cannot beget itself; he who is dependant upon another’s will, cannot do his own, because he depends on another: God depends upon none for Being, Wisdom, Power, Authority to act anything, for he works all after the counsel of his own will.” The work of sanctification spoken of in the context, was the product and effect of God’s eternal Counsel and Will, and not the effect of man’s; God’s will depends not upon the creature’s will: for when he speaks of a new heart, he doth not say, If the creature will be willing he shall have it, but He speaks like a Monarch (Ezek. 36:26,27), “I WILL take away the heart of stone, I will give a heart of flesh; I will put my Spirit within them, and will cause them to walk in my statutes.” I wait not the creature’s motion till he be willing; but I will make him willing, in My working all things after the counsel of My own will. If we consider what regeneration is, it will clearly demonstrate God’s will doth not depend upon the creature’s will in that work at all, because it is a Divine seed and principle of Grace put where there was never any before; so that in regeneration man is wholly passive, and can contribute no more to his being a new creature, than his being a creature; wherever it is wrought, it is the pure product of God’s eternal will, and not the creature’s: “Of his own will begat he us,” (James 1:17). The creature’s will doth not determine God’s, God’s will doth not wait the motion of the creature’s will before he determine about him; “but he works all things (about the creature) according to the counsel of his own will:” God works in time according to his own purposes, and not men’s purposes, in a way of salvation: “For it is not in him that runneth, nor in him that willeth, but in God that sheweth mercy,” (Rom. 9:16). It’s from the merciful purpose of God, and not the creature’s will, that any are vessels of glory, and that all are not vessels of wrath; so then man’s will cannot prevent nor determine God’s because “he works all things after the counsel of his own will:” Both the will and the deed is wrought in the Philippians, according to God’s good pleasure, and not according to man’s good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
Hercules Collins (1646 -1702) From a sermon delivered in 1696 entitled “Mountains of Brass: Or A Discourse Upon The Decrees of God”