Witness Charles Hodge become the apostolic critic of Romans 9:19 while he attempts to explain Paul’s response in Romans 9:20-21 (from his commentary on Romans):
“The objection is founded on ignorance or misapprehension of the true relation between God and his sinful creatures. It supposes that he is under obligation to extend his grace to all. Whereas he is under obligation to none. All are sinners, and have forfeited every claim to his mercy; it is, therefore, the prerogative of God to spare one and not another; to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor. He, as their sovereign Creator, has the same right over them that a potter has over the clay. It is to be born in mind, that Paul does not here speak of the right of God over his creatures as creatures but as sinful creatures, as he himself clearly intimates in the next verses. … Are not these points on which the potter has a most perfect right to decide for himself, and regarding which the thing formed can have no right to complain or question? And so it is with God; the mass of fallen men are in his hands, and it is his right to dispose of them at pleasure; to make all vessels unto honor, or all unto dishonor, or some to one and some to the other. These are points on which, from the nature of the relation, we have no right to question or complain. … It is not the right of God to create sinful beings in order to punish them, but his right to deal with sinful beings according to his good pleasure, that is here, and elsewhere asserted.”
We see that Charles Hodge would have wanted Paul to answer the objector like this:
“You don’t understand the relationship between God and sinful creatures. Since we are all sinners, God has the right to save some and leave others in the sin that they wilfully put themselves in and justly punish them for it.”
“But that’s not even close to what Paul said, is it? Instead, Paul appealed solely to God’s sovereign authority to do what He wants with His creatures. Also notice that Hodge restricts God’s right according to the idol that Hodge has made in his own image. He says that it is NOT God’s right to create sinful beings in order to punish them. So CHARLES HODGE is the objector. HODGE is the one who says that it would be unjust for God to find fault with and punish those whom He made to sin. Yes, rather, O Charles Hodge, WHO ARE YOU answering against God?” (Marc D. Carpenter). This is so clear–at least to those who care more for the glory of God than for the praise of men.
To those like-minded with Charles Hodge:
“How are you able to believe, you who receive glory from one another, and the glory which is from the only God you do not seek?” (John 5:44)