2. The second property of the Divine will, is righteousness: hence His counsels called by the prophet Isaiah, “faithfulness and truth,” (Is. 25:1) called counsels in respect of the wisdom of them, old in respect of the eternity of them, true in respect of the performance of them. Men often will what’s unjust, as Ahab Naboth’s vineyard, the Jews the death of Christ, though innocent; Pharaoh and Haman, the destruction of the church: but it is incompatible with the Divine Being, to will anything unrighteous; as Elihu said, (Job 34:10), “Far be it from the Almighty that He should commit wickedness;” the Judge of all the earth will do right; He who takes no pleasure in wickedness, cannot will it. The sanctification of the Thessalonians was the will of God, and that they “should abstain from fornication,” (1 Thess. 4:3-5). Things may be better said to be just and righteous because God wills them, than will them because just and righteous: For God’s will is the Rule of Righteousness: “His work is perfect,” saith Moses (Deut. 32:4), “for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” When the viols of God’s Wrath are poured out upon His implacable enemies, it’s said, “Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints.” Though the foundation of justification be from the free Grace of God the Father; yet in consideration of Christ’s paying the Sinner’s debt, God is said to be just in justifying him which believeth in Jesus. God’s willing honour and eternal life to those who by patient continuance in well-doing, and God’s willing the wicked to the Day of Evil, are all according to the holy and righteous will of His Nature; and when you cannot comprehend some mysterious providence, still retain Jeremiah’s principle, conclude, “God is righteous,” (Jer. 12:1).
Hercules Collins (1646 -1702) From a sermon delivered in 1696 entitled “Mountains of Brass: Or A Discourse Upon The Decrees of God”