1. It’s an eternal will; His will is as Himself and habitation, eternal. God’s will is not suspended unto time, to seethe creatures’ will before He wills concerning them; as if man’s will were to determine His; as if God could not determine His own will until He saw man’s. His counsels are called “counsels of old,” (Is. 25:1), to signify the eternity of them. We poor creatures will in time; but there is no time with Him, all is eternity with Him: His Mercy is said, not only to be everlasting, but “from everlasting,” (Ps. 103:17). His Love is said to be the same; His covenant is an “everlasting covenant,” (2 Sam. 23:5), as it hath no end, so no beginning. The acts of God’s will are all one with His will, His will is all one with His Essence, His Essence is one pure simple act; God is Love essentially, Wise essentially. We may have a being, yet be neither good nor wise; but God can as soon cease to be, as cease to be either. If there be no Divine will (saith Polhill upon the Divine Decrees), the glass of the Divine Prescience must be broken; because as God knows all essences in His own Divine Essence, all possible in His own Omni potency, all congruities and tendencies to His own Glory, in His own unsearchable Wisdom; so He knows all futures in His own eternal will: For all things future were in their own nature but possible, and could never become future, but by the Divine will; this future of the saints’ holiness is from the Divine will, “before the foundation of the world,” (Eph. 1:4).
Hercules Collins (1646 -1702) From a sermon delivered in 1696 entitled “Mountains of Brass: Or A Discourse Upon The Decrees of God”