"For even Christ pleased not Himself" (Rom. 15,3), but only considers the well-being of His creatures. Love seeketh not her own,2 and God in His creating sought nothing for Himself, but rather, at His own expense, the happiness of those He loved.

It is impossible, and a contradiction of Scripture, to state that it was the pleasure of God to create beings for Hell: for He is most careful to state that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked,3 and He makes it clear that His desire is universal salvation,4 for He is not willing that any should perish. It was impossible for God to create beings for eternal punishment, or to use His power to hurt a sparrow. Men can do many things which are impossible for God, who cannot deny Himself or do anything which is unloving, unwise, powerless or untrue.5

The smallest examination of Jer. 18,1-10 which is the root of Rom. 9,21 makes it clear that, so far from teaching that God is responsible for the shape of the vessel, Jeremiah is reminding Israel that it all depends upon them! God will do the best He can for all, but Israel must repent if she wants Him to make her a vessel to honour. Pharaoh had so misbehaved himself that he left God no alternative but to make an example of him, to deter others from similar wickedness. It is the free will of the clay which decides the Great Potter what to do with it: and the Potter having made up His mind, will change it, if the clay will change his!

N.B. 1. The Predestination and Election of God are represented in Scripture as being dependent upon His Foreknowledge, and not vice versa. Men are not depicted as acting because God has forced their wills: but God is said to predestinate them to do what His Foreknowledge knows they will want to do, "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate" (Rom. 8,29).6 Were it not so any moral judgement of the actions of a man who fulfils prophecy would be impossible: he could always successfully plead that he was the victim of force majeur. Yet although Judas did but fulfil a prophecy in his betrayal of Jesus he was not thereby justified, but was blamed as one who was doing his own, and not God's, will.

In the same way the Election of God still needs the full concurrence of our wills, if it is to be effective. "Wherefore