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16-17 It is obviously not a question of human will or human effort, but of divine mercy. The scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name shall be declared in all the earth’.

18 It seems plain, then, that God chooses on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will harden in their sin.

19-20 Of course I can almost hear your retort: “If this is so, and God’s will is irresistible, why does God blame men for what they do?” But the question really is this: “Who are you, a man, to make any such reply to God?” When a craftsman makes anything he doesn’t expect it to turn round and say, ‘Why did you make me like this?’

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