Calvin belongs to the second generation of the reformers. His place chronologically and, to a large extent, theologically, is among the heirs rather than with the initiators of the Reformation. At his birth, Luther and Zwingli were already twenty-five years of age, Melanchthon was about to take up a student’s career at the University of Heidelberg, and Henry VIII had just begun his eventful reign. None of these leaders had entered, indeed, upon their reformatory work, but the thorough development of the Reformation in Germany and in German-speaking Switzerland was achieved before Calvin reached the activities of manhood.
From: John Calvin: The Organizer of Reformed Protestantism, 1509-1564 by Williston Walker (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906), p. 1.