A New Venture?
The first edition of the Wicket Gate Magazine appeared in January 1967 and the following letter by Pastor Seaton introduces the members of the church, into which he had recently been inducted, (Inverness Baptist Church) to the magazine.
A printed edition of the Wicket Gate following Pastor Seaton's retirement in 2002, is no longer produced. Before that, (1995) it went on online. The magazine continues online here.
"The Wicket Gate" was born out of concern - a concern caused by the apparent lack of reading among Christians today. There is a tremendous dearth of knowledge among present-day believers when it comes to the things of our faith. Years ago, even the most average believer was well versed in the writings of men like John Bunyan, Samuel Rutherford, Thomas Boston, John Owen, Richard Baxter, John Calvin, Martin Luther, to mention only a few.
They had a working knowledge of most of the principal doctrines of our faith, and a fair outline of the history of the Church of Christ. Nowadays - and I feel confident in saying this - most Christians don't even have a nodding acquaintance with these things. I know that many of the old works are tomes which make even the most ardent reader drawback, but some professedly evangelical Christians today haven't read even so much as the most basic and classic of the Christian books. The Pilgrim's Progress, Grace Abounding, The Remains of R.M. McCheyne, The Letters of John Newton, a Life of Spurgeon - and so "The Wicket Gate" is being produced to stimulate interest in some of the forgotten treasures of the faith. The articles are from the Scriptures, the lives of the saints, and the history of the church; small enough to read in a few minutes, and, we trust sufficient to make you search deeper for yourself.
The cover should be well known to most. It is one of the most famous scenes from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and shows the burdened sinner being pointed to "yonder wicket gate" by the evangelist. It was when the Pilgrim got through the Wicket Gate that he come to the cross and his burden fell off; and it was also through this Wicket Gate that "The House of Interpreter" lay - the man who was to teach him in the things of God. So, it is our desire that through this "Wicket Gate" there will be found salvation for sinners, and establishment in the faith of believers.
And so, my brethren and friends, we lay this new venture before you. We pray you will avail yourself of it, and that it will lead you on to "Search out these things for yourself", and to "study to show yourself approved, a good workman...rightly dividing the word of truth".