I.. CALVIN THE PRESBYTER
“The Elders which are among you I exhort – I who am also an Elder… Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the Elder!”4 Thus spoke the Apostle Peter. He, far from ruling over God’s heritage like a Romish Pope,5 regarded himself merely as a Fellow-Elder, co-equal to all the others. Indeed, he also regarded himself as equally obliged to execute the pastoral duty of feeding the flock – and leading especially the younger Christians.6
Calvin’s view was essentially the same as Peter’s. The Genevan Reformer passionately believed in “the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of the saints.”7 He loved to enjoy that communion – also with his Fellow-Presbyters at the sessional level. And he eagerly attended every meeting of the Session each week, in order properly to administer pastoral care to the Members of his Congregation in Geneva.