Do saints go to heaven?

Published May 1, 2000

100 years ago: May 1900

Canadian Churchman reported that it is interesting to note the various streams of tendency, in our own day, setting in opposite directions, one towards liberalism, another towards something like despotism; one towards socialism, another towards particularism (which dies hard).

Among these contrasts hardly any is more remarkable than the tendencies to strict orthodoxy on the one hand and to latitudinarianism on the other. Certainly contemporaneous sentiment leans towards the latter form and tendency of thought …

We have been interested in the discussion of Paradise. Some say it means the intermediate state, some say it means heaven. Along with this contention comes the question whether saints go to heaven when they die. It all depends what you mean by heaven. For one thing, it is quite certain that there is an intermediate state – that is, a state between death and the resurrection of the Body. Yet also it seems certain that, for a certain class at least, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The safest plan is, probably, not to theorize too confidently, but to take the words of Scripture as they come.

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50 years ago: May 1950

Canadian Churchman reported that there is encouragement in the fact that at St. James’ Cathedral (Toronto), on the third Sunday after Easter, 23 persons were presented to the Bishop of Toronto for ordination ? 11 as deacons and 12 as priests. Not many tines in the history of the Church of England in Canada have so many been ordained at one time.

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25 years ago: May 1975

Canadian Churchman reported that the government is no longer moved to act when church committees pass resolutions or its leaders urge policy. So when a delegation of church, labour and legal leaders told cabinet members last month they support total abolition of the death penalty, they were told to express their views in pulpits and publications. It’s time the Anglican Church did just that. It’s time to dig out those old resolutions (1955, 1956 and 1958) supporting abolition and for the church to restate its case …

Columnist Arnold Edinborough wrote: Silence. It was the best teacher in the whole of Lent for me. Thomas Carlyle perhaps summed it up best in his essay on Sir Walter Scott: “Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better.” Let all those helter-skelter celebrants, all those clergy who recite endless petitions in the last strophe of mattins, all those choirmasters who fill every silence with ancient chants ponder the conclusion of Carlyle’s paragraph when he states: “Silence is deep as eternity; speech as shallow as Time.”


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