Zwingli was a humanist Reformer. His education introduced him to the Scriptures in their original languages and to the Church Fathers, and provided the tools to engage with them. It gave him the ideal of Christianismus reniscens – and what is this but an ideal of reformation? Whilst Zwingli undoubtedly developed his thought in an evangelical direction, leading to his Reforming zeal in Zürich, he followed this path largely because of his humanist ideals and the tools with which humanism had furnished him....the Scriptures provided the impetus for Zwingli’s Reforms at Zürich, which affected not only the Church, but also society. McGrath writes that ‘the influence of humanism upon the Swiss Reformation was nothing less than decisive’.
Historians have often treated Zwingli in contrast to, and in the shadow of, Luther. Attempts to replicate Luther’s crisis conversion experience as a paradigm for Zwingli’s life is testament only to the romantic power of Luther’s story. Zwingli deserves to stand on his own as a Reformer with a broad vision of the power of the Word of God and the God of the Word. For him, the issue of Reformation was one affecting all mankind: ‘the church of the pontiffs is the church of the devil, the enemy of man’.
Calvin was basically a gentle, quiet, longsuffering person, who hated controversy and took part in it only when a high sense of duty compelled him - he had none of Luther's love of a good fight...He rejoiced in the earthly gifts of God. Natural beauty, food, drink, family, friendship, art, music: these things were very good - Calvin had no doubt of that. Yet the kingly service of Jesus Christ and His Gospel was infinitely greater and more glorious. p219