He dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.@Genesis 28:12

18th Century English carol. Note: Some arrangements use the last verse as a refrain.

Arranged by George L. Brown, The Highway Hymnal (Nevada, Iowa: Highway Office, 1886), number 164 (🔊 pdf nwc).

illustration
Jacob’s Ladder, Gerard Hoet (1648-1733)

As Jacob once traveled, he was weary one day,
At night on a stone for a pillow he lay;
He saw in a vision a ladder so high,
Its foot was on earth, and its top reached the sky.

This heavenly ladder is strong and well made;
Tho’ standing for ages, it has not decayed;
The feeblest may venture by faith to go up,
And angels will guard them from bottom to top.

Lo! upward and downward they constantly go,
Extending a hand to the toilers below;
And when a new convert sets out for the skies,
Their shouts to the top of the ladder arise.

Another! another! they sing in their love,
Is seeking his home and his treasures above:
And angels, in glory, responding cry—Come!
And welcome each penitent sinner up home.

This ladder is Jesus, the glorious God-man,
Whose blood freely streaming from Calvary ran;
By His great atonement to Heaven we rise,
And sing in the mansions prepared in the skies.

Upon it our fathers have gone to their God,
They’ve finished their journey and gained their abode,
And we are ascending and soon will be there,
Their songs and their rapture in glory to share.

Hallelujah to Jesus, who died on the tree,
To raise up this ladder of mercy for me;
Press upward, press upward, the prize is in view,
A crown of bright glory is waiting for you.