Fragments Gathered Up: Romans 3:19

Romans 3:19
Rom. 3:1919Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19) is reckoned to prove that all men are under law. It is astonishing how any one could so little see the force of the apostle's argument. The apostle had proved Jews and gentiles under sin; and then turns back to the many advantages the Jews had. He was not derogating from them. Well, he says, you have the oracles of God: let us hear them. Are we better than gentiles? You are as much under sin as the gentiles; read your own books; from which he then cites passages, and (relying on the claim of the Jews, that the law belonged to them, that the law spoke to those that were under it,) applies their denunciations to the Jews who were thus stopping their mouths by their own oracles, which they claimed as belonging exclusively to them. There you are, then, says Paul; you say the scriptures apply to you, and that is what they say; and then every mouth is stopped. That the gentiles were sinners was admitted: they were not Jews by nature. But their own oracles brought in the Jews too; and every mouth was stopped. How any one could think the statement that the law spoke to those who were under it, meant that it spoke to all, when the subject is the Jews alone professing it, and its advantages, would be hard to think, but for the prejudices of a system