1 Do I begin again to commend my self? or need I, as some others, commendatory letters to you, or from you? 2 you are my epistle, your conversion being writ in. my heart, known and read by all men: 3 which shows you to be the epistle of Christ, written by my ministration, not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not on tables of stone, but on living tables of the heart.
4 It is by Christ that I have this confidence in God. 5 not that I am sufficient of myself to effect any thing by the strength of my own reason: but my sufficiency is from God. 6 who also hath enabled me to be a minister of the new covenant, not of the literal sense, but of the spiritual meaning: it is the letter that denounces death, but the spirit gives life.
7 now if the law engraven on stone, the letter of whose sanction is death, was delivered with such glory, that the children of Israel could not steadily behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, tho' it was transient; 8 shall not the ministration of the spirit be more glorious? 9 for if the ministration of condemnation was illustrious, the ministration of righteousness will be much more glorious. 10 since that which distinguished the first had no glory, when compared to that of the other, which far excell'd it. 11 if that which was only temporary was glorious, much more shall that which is permanent be glorious.
12 Having then such an opinion of my ministry, I use great plainness of speech. 13 and do not act as Moses did, who threw a veil over his face so as to hinder the children of Israel from perceiving the end of that which was to cease: 14 besides, their minds were greatly prejudiced: for that very veil would still have obstructed the understanding of the old testament, unless it had been taken away by Christ. 15 nevertheless, when Moses is read, the veil upon their mind continues unto this day: 16 but when their mind shall turn to the Lord, that veil too shall be taken away. 17 for the spiritual meaning of the law centers in him, and the spirit of the law is gospel-liberty: 18 but as we lay aside the veil, the divine light gradually informs the mind, according as we attend to that spiritual sense, which points out the Lord.