4. A fourth property of the Divine will, is immutability. Hence His decrees are compared to “mountains of brass,” (Zech. 6:1,2), which are immoveable; with Him is not the least shadow of turning; it is not compatible with him, whose name is Jehovah, to change; if so, the church had been destroyed e’re now. It’s not for want of sin in Jacob they are not destroyed, but because He is Jehovah, and changeth not, (Mal. 3:6), neither is it possible He should change, because He perfectly foreknows whatever will come to pass. Indeed men who have not that power, do often will and purpose this and that, and change their mind after, not foreseeing the cause of the change; which if they had, would not have willed that which they must undo again, because it’s some dishonour to men to be changeable, but “God is not a man that he should repent,” (Num. 23:19). “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” (Rom. 11:29). When the Scripture speaks about God’s repenting He made man (Gen. 6:6), it is not to be understood properly, as if God were capable of repentance, as man is: but it is spoken to our capacity, God is said to repent, when He doth such things as men do when they repent: when God withheld those judgments and effects of His anger He had threatened against Ninevah, He is said to repent; so when God lets out His judgment, the effects of His Anger upon the old world, God is said to repent: According to our capacity, and man’s practice, who when he doth repent of a thing, doth shew it by some visible act. It’s because God’s compassions fail not, but are ever the same, that the church is not consumed (Lam. 3:22). Though David’s house nor heart was as it should be, yet this was his comfort, God had made with him an Everlasting Covenant (2 Sam. 13:5). God foreknew Israel would be a transgressor from the womb (Is. 48:9). Yet for His Namesake would defer His Anger, and for the praise of His Grace would not cut them off. God foreknew Peter’s sin, Paul’s sin; yet that hindered them not from being chosen vessels, elect according to the foreknowledge of God (1 Pet. 1:1,2). So that whom He once loves, He must love to the end, because there can be nothing hid from Him that might make Him change His mind, as it is often with men. So that we may conclude this with the Apostle, “He who hath begun the good work, will finish it,” (Phil. 1:6).
Hercules Collins (1646 -1702) From a sermon delivered in 1696 entitled “Mountains of Brass: Or A Discourse Upon The Decrees of God”