The covenant made with all the patriarchs is so much like ours in substance and reality that the two are actually one and the same. Yet they differ in mode of dispensation. . . . Here we must take our stand on three main points. First, we hold that carnal prosperity and happiness did not constitute the goal set before the Jews to which they were to aspire. Rather, they were adopted into the hope of immortality; and assurance of this adoption was certified to them by oracles, by the law, and by the prophets. Secondly, the covenant by which they were bound to the Lord was supported, not by their own merits, but solely by the mercy of the God who called them. Thirdly, they had and knew Christ as Mediator, through whom they were joined to God and were to share in his promises.
1 I was drawn to this quotation because it was underlined in the copy of the Institutes owned by my late brother, Rev. Charlie Dennison. That copy is now in the library of Northwest Theological Seminary. The citation is from the Battles/McNeill edition, 2.10.2, pp. 429-30 (JTD).