The sermon’s content is in the title: the immutability of God. It breaks down into three sections: some ways in which God is unchangeable; proof of the point and application. His text is,
“I am the Lord, I charge not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”-Malachi 3:6.
The Introduction. He begins with a contrast, the proper study of mankind is not man, but rather God. He discusses how the contemplation of God is the highest task a human can undertake — and the best for the human being:
Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound, in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief- and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrows? Would you drown your cares? Then go plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul, so calm the swelling billows of grief and sorrow; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.
I. A general statement of the doctrine.
God is unchangeable in his essence.
God is unchangeable in his attributes.
God is unchangeable in his plans.
God is unchangeable in his promises.
God is unchangeable in his threatenings.
God is unchangeable in the objects of his love.
II. Proof of the point.
It is implied in the very idea of God.
His perfection implies he is unchangeable.
His infinity implies he is not changeable.
His actions imply he is unchangeable.
III. Those who benefit from this fact.
He asks who are these “sons of Jacob”. In short, the elect. But in it also refers to particular people, those who are in most need of an unchangeable God.
IV. What is the benefit of this truth?
A strong arm hath saved me. I have started back and cried, O God! could I have gone so near sin, and yet come back again? Could I have walked right up to the furnace and not fallen down, like Nebuchadnezzar’s strong men, devoured by the very heat? Oh! is it possible I should be here this morning, when I think of the sins I have committed, and the crimes which have crossed my wicked imagination? Yes, I am here, unconsumed, because the Lord changes not. Oh! if he had changed, we should have been consumed in a dozen ways; if the Lord had changed, you and I should have been consumed by ourselves; for after all Mr. Self is the worst enemy a Christian has. We should have proved suicides to our own souls; we should have mixed the cup of poison for our own spirits, if the Lord had not been an unchanging God, and dashed the cup out of our hands when we were about to drink it. Then we should have been consumed by God himself if he had not been a changeless God. We call God a Father- but there is not a father in this world who would not have killed all his children long ago, so provoked would he have been with them, if he had been half as much troubled as God has been with his family. He has the most troublesome family in the whole world-unbelieving, ungrateful, disobedient, forgetful, rebellious, wandering, murmuring, and stiffnecked. Well it is that he is longsuffering, or else he would have taken not only the rod, but the sword to some of us long ago. But there was nothing in us to love at first, so there cannot be less now. John Newton used to tell a whimsical story, and laugh at it too, of a good woman who said, in order to prove the doctrine of Election, “Ah! sir, the Lord must have loved me before I was born, or else he would not have seen anything in me to love afterwards.” I am sure it is true in my case, and true in respect most of God’s people; for there is little to love in them after they are born, that if he had not loved them before then, he would have seen no reason to choose them after- but since he loved them without works, he loves them without works still; since their good works did not win his affection, bad works cannot sever that affection- since their righteousness did not bind his love to them, so their wickedness cannot snap the golden links. He loved them out of pure sovereign grace, and he will love them still. But we should have been consumed by the devil and by our enemies-consumed by the world, consumed by our sins, by our trials and in a hundred other ways, if God had ever changed.