5. A fifth property of the Divine will is, that it is a Sovereign and Supreme will. He hath an absolute freedom of will (Is. 41:13). If He will work none can let him. (Dan. 4:35)”He doeth according to His will in the armies of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and who can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what dost thou?” (Lam. 3:37) “Who saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” (Ps. 103:19) “God’s kingdom ruleth over all.” He hath an absolute power over men and devils. Hence, He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious, and He will shew “mercy to whom he will shew mercy, and whom He will (after the abuse of much Patience) He hardeneth,” (Rom. 9:18). What reason can be given why Christ must take the human nature to save man, and not the angelic nature to save angels? We must answer as Christ in another case, “Even so Father, for so it pleased thee, it was thy will and pleasure.” So if God will choose Abel, and pass by Cain; choose Isaac, and pass by Ishmael, choose David and Solomon, and pass by Saul; choose Peter and Paul, and pass by Judas: That some of the natural seed of Abraham are elected, and the rest left in their own blindness and hardness: what shall we say in this case, but as Moses and the Apostle, “He will be gracious to whom He will be gracious,” (Rom. 11:7,8)? If God will convert a profligate sinner, as the thief upon the cross, and take his soul into Paradise the same day, who never gave God a day’s service, but a subject of the Black Prince all his days: I say, if God will give him the same happiness He gives another, who hath served and suffered for Him forty years, who shall fault God? May He not do with His own Grace and Glory what He will? When the Apostle said (Acts 10), “God is no respecter of persons,” the meaning of that is, God doth not respect the person of a Jew, because a Jew, more than a Gentile, a Roman; as Peter did suppose, before God shewed him otherwise in a vision: then he saw Cornelius, though a Roman or Italian, and no Jew, yet believing in Christ, and working righteousness, was accepted as much as the believing Jew. Yet effectual vocation, and saving faith must always be concluded to be, not according to our works, but God’s purpose in election, as the Apostle asserts in Romans 9:16, whether it be a Jew or Gentile, that is called effectually. God’s will is a Sovereign Supreme will, yet a righteous will; God’s power is suitable to His will: Many will great things against the church, as the Devil and his kingdom wills the destruction of Christ’s Kingdom; but their power is not suitable and adequate as God’s is to His will; if He hath a mind to open and change such a heart, rescue such a one out of the Devil’s power, He can do it. He can carry His will through: God’s will is a Sovereign and Supreme will, “For there is none above him, that he should give an account unto any of his matters,” as Elihu said unto Job, when under some discontent about Divine Providence (Job. 33:13).
Hercules Collins (1646 -1702) From a sermon delivered in 1696 entitled“Mountains of Brass: Or A Discourse Upon The Decrees of God”