God having thus entered into covenant with our Surety Christ Jesus, was pleased also to enter into covenant with us in him. Now this covenant we define to be, a free and gratuitous agreement between an offended God and offending man, in which God promises to man pardon and salvation through the merits and satisfaction of Christ, and man on his part promises faith and obedience. The only author of this covenant is God, who alone could raise fallen man, and make a new covenant in the place of the old. God is here considered as offended, but at the same time as a merciful Father, capable of being propitiated, and willing to be reconciled to offending man. Man, with whom the covenant is entered into, is considered as a sinful creature, but conscious of his guilt and misery. The Mediator of the covenant is Christ. In this covenant God promises that he will be our God, which promise includes both our reconciliation and communion with him, and also the communication of those good things which are necessary for us, particularly holiness, life, and immortality Again, God requires from us that we should be his people, namely, he requires of us faith, repentance, worship, and obedience, all which he produces in us by his Spirit. The seals of this covenant are the sacraments. It is called the new covenant, because the old is abolished and the covenant of grace, because man in no way whatever could merit it, but God of his mere mercy entered into it with man; and also to distinguish it from the first covenant, which is called the covenant of works, which was entered into with Adam, and renewed on Mount Sinai.
These two covenants indeed agree with each other in various particulars:—of both, God is the author; in both there are the same contracting parties; in both is promised eternal life and happiness: but they differ also in many respects; in the covenant of works God is considered as Creator and Lord, in the covenant of grace as Redeemer and Father; in the first there were was no mediator, in the second Christ is the Mediator; in the one God dealt with man as upright, in the other he deals with man as a sinner; the former depended on man’s own obedience, the latter depends on the obedience of Christ; in the former was promised life, namely, a state consisting of all good things; in the latter is promised salvation, which, along with life, includes also deliverance from sin and death; in the first God required works, saying, Do this and live; in the second he requires faith, saying, Believe, and thou shall be saved. The covenant of grace does indeed require works of righteousness, but not that we may merit eternal life by them; nor does the imperfection of Christian obedience, provided it be sincere, stand in the way of our salvation.
—Benedict Pictet (1655–1724, Christian Theology, trans. Frederick Reyroux (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, n.d.), 281–82.