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From Font to Faith

John Wesley on Infant Baptism and the Nurture of Children


Elfriede K. Naglee

The examination of John Wesley's views on infant baptism and Christian nurture, related in one work, is a relatively new interest in church history. Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was indebted to covenant theology of the Church of England variety, with its roots in St. Augustine, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, and Arminianism. Using this tradition, Wesley described both baptism and the nurturing of children to their own personal faith. One objective result of infant baptism is regeneration, wrought by the Holy Spirit. Christian nurture begins immediately as a process of religious education in which the Spirit, covenant community, and child cooperate until personal faith is created as a habit of life. Hence, from Font to Faith.
Contents: This work describes and defines the baptismal and educational views and practices of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in reference to the children of his eighteenth century movement.