The plain reading of this text indicates that men had no difficulty calling out to YHWH in their distress. (At the time of Genesis 4:26, the world was plunged into the depths of the pre-flood sin of the empire of Cain and his progeny.) This is much like a soldier, in wartime, crying out for God in his foxhole amidst the thunderous din of exploding artillery. Therefore, it seems that mankind can, if only dimly, sense the sin of this world -- at least when it gets critical in an immediate sense. This seems quite clear, YHWH-Elohim, in His Mercy and Compassion, "condescended" to set before the Israelites a set of Laws and Commandments that would bring them success in life. IF they chose to do what YHWH told them, THEN they would succeed. IF they chose not to do what YHWH told them, THEN they would fail. The clear, unambiguous scriptural use of "conditionals" (IF/THEN) clearly indicates that mankind does indeed have a conscious choice to make. That is, mankind "has the power" to choose YHWH-Elohim over satan. However, where I believe Calvinists, in their austere beliefs, are right is that it is only by the infinite, and unmerited Grace of YHWH-Elohim that mankind is given a ray of hope amidst the dark clouds of sin and wrath. Please consider! Where would mankind be, nay even where would you be, without God's revelation of Scripture to Moses and the Prophets?? Please think it through! IF YHWH-Elohim had with-held His Holy Spirit from Moses and the Prophets to Israel, THEN they would never have even made it out of Egypt, much less thrived and been successful enough to pave the way for the Messiah and Christianity! It is SIN which leads to slavery and death (Romans 6:16). Because of the SIN, the House of Jacob wound up as slaves in Egypt. Consider, Joseph's brothers sell him into slavery out of jealousy... and the way things work out, although Joseph saves them from starvation and death, all the brothers and their children wind up slaves in Egypt. The sin of jealousy led the whole family into slavery! Without God's calling Moses in Midian, the Israelites would have become just another slave race, a footnote in Egyptian history books. But YHWH-Elohim, in a Great and Wondrous Work, "condescended" to come all the forth from Heaven, call Moses to do His bidding, and thereby extract and "medivac" the Israelites out of bondage into the Promised Land. Once out of Egypt, Moses received the 10 Commandments atop Mount Horeb (aka Mount Sinai), and the Torah was written. And, so long as the Hebrews obeyed those Scriptures, they lived wild and free in the Highlands of the Holy Land. But as soon as they began disobeying those Scriptures, YHWH-Elohim sent prophet after prophet to call them back to His graciously-given Laws. And when the Hebrews eventually rejected even the prophets, as YHWH-Elohim had warned them through Moses in Deuteronomy 30 at the beginning of the whole show, lo-and-behold the Hebrews indeed were conquered and re-enslaved by their enemies. Indeed, the real miracle, and the really obvious miracle if you think about it, is that 12 tribes of "barbarians" managed to hold out for 700 years wedged between the two super-power states of their era, Egypt in the West and Babylon to the East (not to mention the Hittites to the North!). My point is this: although Mankind does have the power and capacity to read Scripture and choose to obey it, and thereby live in righteousness and freedom... Mankind clearly never had the power to avoid succumbing to satan's seductions. We are all sons of Adam and Eve, and they were duped by satan... we have their genes, "like father like son", and so we too are vulnerable to satan's lurings. Even no less than the House of Jacob wound up*enslaved in Egypt! Clearly, Calvinists are right on when they say that, apart from the Mercy and Grace and Great & Wondrous Works of YHWH-Elohim (such as "condescending" to call Prophet after Prophet and, through them, telling mankind exactly what to do and how to do it to escape bondage), apart from God-breathed Scripture, Mankind would be so ignorant and blind to satan's plots and schemes that we would all be slaves and the world would already be a complete and utter hell-hole. In a word, satan is smarter than mankind. Satan is smarter than you, me, and all mankind, and left to our own devices, we would all already be slaves in a hell-hole world. However, infinitely Graciously, God has "condescended" to simplify things down to our moronic level. I know it's harsh, but that is the claim. YHWH-Elohim, seeing all of mankind threatened by satanic seduction, has Graciously told us all, through His prophets, "do this, do that, don't do the other, just trust me, it's too complicated to explain, just trust me". (Those are my words, may God forgive my impudence, I'm trying to explain.) Lo-and-behold, again and again and again, when mortal men (like Israel early on, or the Protestant Puritans early on) choose to admit their own stupidity, their own fallibility, their own vulnerability to satan's twisted charms, and they say, "Uhhmmm, well, ok, I'm a moron in the grand scheme of things, I admit it, I'm just going to go for broke and do what YHWH-Elohim tells me, when He tells me, how He tells", then those people succeed and create great nations like Israel and America. And, likewise, time and again, when men stray from YHWH-Elohim's "simplified, dumbed down to our level" instructions on how to avoid satan's traps, then their once-great nations falter and fall, again like Israel in 586 BCE and America in 20?? CE... In short, what I'm trying to say is, mankind has proven, time and again, that he is too stupid to compete against satan in a battle of wits. Time and again, satan outsmarts us, and lures us into bondage. As it is written, Because of our stupidity, we have all become, through our sins, satan's "beasts" who work his fields in bondage (the metaphor made sense 3000 years ago in the Middle East, when and where the Scripture was revealed, when slaves were forced to be agricultural workers on plantations). But, thank God (!), YHWH-Elohim has given us, with Scripture, a simplified "7 step program to escape sin, for dummies". And without that infinitely wondrous and gracious work of YHWH-Elohim, we would all be bereft of that "7 step program...for dummies"... and we would all be thralls toiling away in utter abject hopeless tyranny. So, in that sense, Calvinists are right. All praise and all laudings be unto YHWH-Elohim, whose boundless Grace has "spoken right down to earth, in a language that everyone here can easily understand", what to do, and what not to do, so as to avoid satan's web of lies, trickery, and deceit. In short, it all boils down to Proverbs 14:12: and Matthew 7:13-14: YHWH-Elohim's wonder of wonder, His God-breathed Scriptures, are like a neon-sign pointing the way to the narrow gate on to Life, and away from the broad gate on to Death... and without YHWH-Elohim's aforesaid wonder of wonders, without Scripture, Mankind would be almost hopelessly lost. So, Mankind can choose to read and obey Scripture, once YHWH-Elohim gives it to him... but Mankind could never have written those Scriptures himself. Have I been clear enough?