"The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
"And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away."--Longfellow.
"The dream of Jacob is not merely natural, but prophetic;
it is the medium of Divine revelation."--Kurtz.
"Come here with your tongues and pens, all you that have
them--sing and play all you that can, that so we may in some small degree
comprehend the import of these words."--Luther.
"And 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."--Gen. 28:12.
"By whom shall Jacob arise," asks the prophet, "for he is
small?" (Amos 7:2.) Such might well be the question prompted, as the weary
traveler casts himself down at eventide on his pillow of stones on one of
the heaths of Palestine.
The question is now to be answered. The rocky uncurtained
couch, which even a wandering child of Ishmael would have spurned, has no
equal that night on earth. The Pharaohs in their palaces might well envy
him. His bleak resting place is to be radiant with a vision of angels; and,
while the ornate chambers of Rameses and the other Pharaoh's with their gold
and purple have vanished long ago, it still retains its imperishable name.
"By whom shall Jacob arise?" There can be but one reply.
He can arise from his weakness and shame alone in the might of his fathers'
God. To use the words uttered by himself, at the hour of death, regarding
his best loved son, "The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of
the mighty God of Jacob" (Gen. 49:24). It is evident the present divine
revelation is one which the inspired narrator records with profound interest
and wonder; for the interjection, indicative of reverential astonishment, is
used no less than three times in the course of the brief
description--"Behold," "Behold," "Behold!"
The Lord has in all ages had different methods of
communicating His will and purposes to the Church. At one time, as in the
case of Abraham, it was through the vision of "a smoking furnace and a
burning lamp" (Gen. 15:17). At another, it was by the oracles of the Urim
and the Thummin with their mysterious flashing of spiritual illumination. At
another, it was through prophetic announcements. At another, and most
frequently of all, it was through the medium of dreams. "In a dream,
in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumberings
upon the bed; then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction"
(Job. 33:15, 16).
Nor was this instrumentality employed regarding His own
people only. It was common alike to Jew and Gentile. Familiar Bible
instances may be recalled, from the case of the young sage of Arabia, (whose
words we have just quoted) and the kings of Egypt and Babylon (Pharaoh,
Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar), to the New Testament examples of the
Persian Magi, and the wife of Pontius Pilate. On the present occasion,
however, it is with no stranger or foreigner, but with the heir of the
covenant, the head and representative of His chosen Church and nation, that
God adopts the same means to reveal His presence and protecting care.
All of us know the vivid--sometimes the overpowering
reality of these visions and pageants of dreamland. The mental nature seems
for the time to be abnormally quickened and intensified. Long forgotten
scenes are revived and repeopled. In the silent studio of night, when the
senses are sealed in slumber, long forgotten faces start afresh from the
ghostly canvas, yes, and, from the intensity of revived impression,
cherished smiles and sacred tones long since passed away, bring the tear to
the eye, and the irrepressible sob to the heart. It is the hour when the
judgment abdicates its control and imagination holds undisputed sway--
"Of all external things,
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, airy shapes,
Which reason, joining or disjoining, frames
All what we affirm, or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell, when nature sleeps."
There are dreams, however, whose combinations are
controlled by a Higher power than the caprice of the imagination; taking
their rise and shape from the direct influence and inspiration of the Spirit
of God. This writing of the finger of Deity on the mind's silent walls was,
at least in olden time, the chosen method of the Father's disclosure of
Himself to His children on earth.
Such the dream which now broke the trance of the
Patriarch's sleep, and environed with divinest phantasms his desert pillow.
It would almost seem (at least we have nothing in the
sacred narrative leading us to infer otherwise) that up to the present time,
though very familiar with the name and the worship of Jehovah, Jacob had
enjoyed no personal, individual communication with Deity. No external
visible revelation had been conveyed to him of the purposes of grace, such
as were again and again given to his favored grandsire. The first of a long
course of devout teaching and training begins with the stony couch. It would
be too strong and pronounced a statement to call it 'the night of Jacob's
conversion.' But it was undoubtedly the first eventful crisis in his
spiritual history--one which dominated all the subsequent ones, and carried
its sacred impress to the hour of his departure. He laid himself down,
anticipating little else but feverish visions of revenge and blood, that
might well banish sleep from a softer pillow. He awoke to the sublime
consciousness that he was no longer the alien and the outcast, but in very
deed a fellow-citizen with the saints and of the household of God. This
midnight transaction has been well called "his formal inauguration by God
Himself, into the high and holy position of the heir and child of the
promise." Strange spot for so momentous a conference! The first place at
which Paul preached in Europe was a river side; the second, a dungeon at
midnight. Truly, the Lord is not confined to temples made with hands.
We need not recur to the physical features of the
locality, further than to recall to the mind of the reader what was stated
in the introductory chapter. These features seem to have impressed
themselves on the mind and imagination of the sleeper, and to have given
shape and embodiment to his dream. We can, however, have no difficulty or
hesitation in discovering what may be called its spiritual coloring.
We have assigned to it, indeed, a distinct heavenly origin and inspiration.
But the Divine Inspirer produces these passive mental impressions through
human associations and emotions. The long wistful gaze over the moaning
sea, and the noise of booming billows, are known to give form and substance
to the dream of the fisherman's wife, when she falls asleep in the midst of
anxious vigils. It was life's waking realities, which, in a similar
manner, in the case of the Patriarch, had perpetuated themselves in his hour
of slumber. The predominating thought of the past days had retained its hold
on his fevered brain, that he was a fugitive for dear life, with guilt on
his conscience and terror in his soul. By the revered lips, alike of father
and grandfather, he had frequently, from earliest childhood, been
familiarized with the truth how near God is. But even the evening prayer, we
have supposed, could not enable him to realize the comfort at least of that
nearness now. Rather in the opening of the dream was it sadly reversed. A
wide and apparently hopeless distance seemed to separate him from the
magnificent Presence. The gate of heaven (the "GATE"--the place among
Easterns identified with unrestricted communion between ruler and subject,
monarch and people) was nowhere to be seen through the impenetrable blank
which stretched from the sleeper's pillow to the starry sky. There was
brought vividly and hopelessly home to him the sense of his distance and
alienation--his exile and estrangement from a greater than earthly parent.
But all at once, lo! from the spot on which he lay, a
pathway of divine communication seemed gradually to emerge from the
darkness. Whether we call it 'stair' or 'ladder,' that radiant highway
seemed to stretch upwards in brightening gradations, from the head of the
dreamer to the now revealed portals of glory. The base of this stony ladder
"was on earth, and the top of it reached to heaven." Glorious, white-robed
beings, as we shall come afterwards more specially to note, thronged it; as
if they carried up and down its gigantic steps messages of peace and mercy.
And more than all, a voice from the unseen God, hidden in the blaze of light
at its summit, seemed to address the wanderer.
There could be little doubt as to the primary object and
significance of the vision and its accompaniments. It was to confirm the
Patriarch's faith in the existence and providence of Jehovah. It was to
assure him that, exile and wanderer as he was, the God of his father Abraham
was still with him as "the Mighty God of Jacob;" that he was under the
sleepless eye and protecting rule of Israel's unslumbering Shepherd, and
that on that protection he might confidently and unhesitatingly rely. 'God
sees me,' 'God cares for me,' 'God speaks to me,' were the first simple yet
sublime thoughts that would flash across him. 'He is not the God of the
Beersheba tent only, with its throng of souls. He condescends to follow
me--yes me, alone, to this lonely place, who has forfeited all claim
to His favor. For me, He sends a convoy of angels, and utters words of
divinest comfort and heart-cheer!' Kurtz, a distinguished German
commentator, well remarks, "Thoughts accusing and excusing one another would
overwhelm him, and refused to be controlled amid the unusual solitude and
loneliness of his position. The dark future before him is as yet unlit by a
single ray of promise. The Dream and its Vision are the reply of God to the
harassments and anxieties with which he has lain down to rest."
That dream of Bethel was for all times, for all ages, for
all pilgrims in a pilgrim world. And this, its primary suggestion, ought
surely for each one of us, as for Jacob, to be replete with gladness and
consolation--the personal love of God for every individual member of His
vast family. Go where we may, we can make the inspiriting strain of that
song of an after age our own--"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell
in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Your hand lead me, and
Your right hand shall hold me" (Ps. 139:9, 10). The heavenly Shepherd has aa
individualized care for each sheep of the fold. As it utters its apparently
unsuccoured bleat on the lonely moorland, or amid the thorny thicket of its
wanderings, He tracks its truant footsteps, as if it engrossed all His
interest, restoring it to the green pastures by the side of the fold.
Yes, there is surely nothing more cheering, more sublime,
than the thought of this unwearying tending of the Great Shepherd--this
individual (if we can so call it, this microscopic), love of the Great
Father. Not the Almighty following the majestic march of the planets in the
skies, marking out their orbits--the Omnipotent One riding on the heaven of
heavens, giving the sea His decree, piling the strata of the everlasting
hills. But God, reading a parable to His people, as He keeps watch over the
lichen on the rock, or the lily on the mountain side; tempering His wind to
the fragile flower as it trembles on the lip of the Alpine glacier;
following the timid bird to its cleft; feeding the young raven's brood;
noting the fall of the sparrow.
And then, turning from the tiniest objects in the
material creation--from the grass and the lilies and the fowls of the air,
to the humblest and lowest of His human family, He says, "Fear not! you are
of more value." On that memorable night, when Abraham was led out to
contemplate the stars of the skies as the silent expositors of Divine grace
and mercy, the future words of the Psalmist might have formed the natural
expression of his feelings--"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and
Your dominion endures throughout all generations" (Ps. 145:13). But the
succeeding utterances in the same Psalm would be the more appropriate
exclamation on the part of his grandson as he awoke from his angel
vision--"The Lord upholds all that fall; and raises up all those that be
bowed down" (ver. 14).
But there was another higher and nobler typical
verity unfolded, partially at all events, to Jacob by that night-dream.
Abraham, in the scene and sacrifice of Moriah, "beheld Messiah's day afar
off and was glad." Though we cannot think it possible that his
grandchild--the heir of the promise--could have grasped the full and
glorious reality, surely we may well believe that an impressive picture had,
at least in dim outline, been presented to him of the crowning blessing of
the great covenant bound up in his family, and in the faith of whose
provisions he was henceforth to live and at last to die. Here, also, as in
the primary lesson of the dream to which we have just referred, there was
more than a personal revelation. It was a parable-vision for the Church of
God in all time to come, of "the King in His beauty and the land that was
very far off."
We may regard the Patriarch, in his loneliness and
isolation, as a type of the sinner severed from the home of his heavenly
Father; an accusing conscience within, the terrors of a violated law behind,
a dark eternity before! Wide, apparently insuperable, is the distance
which separates him from God. Is there no way by which that distance can be
curtailed--that intervening space abridged? Is he consigned forever to that
pillow of despair, to gaze on heights hopelessly unattainable? Is he to sigh
in vain for a gleam in the lowering clouds, for the whisper of a voice of
love to dispel the environing gloom?
Lo! a firm pathway of communication is disclosed, with
its base on the earth, and its summit in the skies--"a new and living way of
access into the holiest of all." It is "Jesus Christ evidently set forth."
The ladder or staircase had its BASE on the earth. He who is the Divine
Antitype was, and is, partaker of our nature--"found in fashion as a
man;"--"made like unto His brethren." But "the top of it reached to Heaven,"
and was lost in the blaze of glory--for His name is "Immanuel," "God with
us." It is the connection of that bright pathway with both worlds which
makes it so perfect. It would be of no avail--no comfort were it otherwise.
By the union of Manhood with Godhead, Jesus is a complete Mediator--all we
need, living or dying, for time or for eternity. "I am the Way," is His own
gracious utterance--God's way to the sinner, and the sinner's way to God. In
His Deity mighty to save; in His humanity mighty to pity and compassionate.
Let us fix our thoughts yet a little longer on these
peerless truths--for they may well be regarded as the central point of the
Bethel-vision--at all events as they present themselves to us in their
fuller antitypical significance--"God in Christ, reconciling the world unto
Himself;"--suggestive alike of the divine Person of the Redeemer and the
completeness of His work. There is no gap or crevice in the luminous
pathway. It forms one glorious whole, stretching continuously up to its
resting-place in the celestial heights. The lamentation of another
Patriarch, no, the long drawn sigh of humanity itself, seems in that symbol
to be answered--"Neither is there any arbitrator between us who can lay his
hand upon us both" (Job 9:33).
Jesus is such a "Arbitrator." While the hymn of adoring
Christendom reaches its climax in the ascription--"You are the King of
glory, O Christ! You are the everlasting Son of the Father." It can add also
to the loftier strain, that complementary ascription which carries so
soothing a cadence to the heart of all He came to redeem--"When you took
upon yourself to deliver man, you did not abhor the Virgin's womb." "A MAN
shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as
rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary
land" (Is. 32:2). Had He been God alone, we would have been dazzled with His
ineffable majesty; we could not have gazed unblinded on that countenance
which is "as the sun shines in his strength." His immaculate holiness, His
burning purity, His unbending rectitude, His resistless power, would have
awed and confounded us in our dealings with One so infinitely removed. But
let us rejoice! the ladder which has its top in the brightness around the
throne, has its base resting on the platform of earth. He is "THE MAN Christ
Jesus." The very lowliness of His humanity, also, seems shadowed forth in
the type--whether that may have been the vision of a familiar 'ladder,' or
the rough boulders of the desert piled one upon another. Had uninspired
poetry been left to fill in the dream, and to delineate the pathway for the
God of high heaven to hold converse with His creatures, it would in all
likelihood have despised the commonness of the revealed symbol. Golden
steps, glittering with sapphire and emerald, would have been taken as more
befitting "altar stairs" conducting into the upper sanctuary. But in the
vision given, we behold the significant emblem of Him, who, often like the
Patriarch that night at Bethel, was houseless and homeless--no couch but the
cold earth, no canopy but the sky--His unpillowed head often denied the rest
of the lowest of His creation.
Yes, thanks be to God, we can grasp, in its fullness, the
comforting truth which Jacob could at best have so dimly and inadequately
apprehended. We can exult in the revealed assurance, that in the bosom of
that lowly Christ of Nazareth there slumbers the tenderness of humanity. Not
a pang can I endure, not a temptation can I encounter, but He has
encountered and endured the same. The Great Being who counts the number of
the stars, counts also the number of my sorrows, for He felt them all
Himself. I can think in all my trials, Jesus was tried; in all my
sufferings, Jesus suffered; in all my tears, "Jesus wept." I can love Him as
a brother while I adore Him as a God. And then, when once more tracing the
pathway up to the heights of glory, I remember that He, "who for us men and
for our salvation became incarnate," was "Jehovah's Fellow" (Zech.
13:7)--that His nature is Infinite, His years Eternity, His counsels
Immutability, His arm Omnipotence, His wisdom Searchless, His love
Unchanging--on that ladder I may fearlessly climb--on that ladder I may
fearlessly trust my everlasting destinies. "You know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich" (rich in all the attributes of
Godhead--rich in all the plenitude of divine perfections), "yet for our
sakes He became poor" (stooped to the lowest depths of humiliation), "that
you through His poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). We may appropriately
use the words, regarding this wondrous night-dream, spoken at a long
subsequent age by one whose eyes had gazed on no symbolic vision, but on the
Adorable Antitype--"The God of JACOB, the God of our fathers, has glorified
His Son Jesus" (Acts 3:13).
"Unutterable love!" is the exclamation of a pious and
learned traveler, as he writes in his tent pitched on the Patriarch's
dreamland--"Oh, unutterable love, which has given, in the 'Son of Man,' an
imperishable ladder, not only for Bethel and for Israel, but for all the
ends of the earth."
But the vision may be made suggestive of other great
truths. It has been rightly regarded as typically unfolding the method--as
well as the means of salvation.
While we never can forget that it is Jesus who is at once
"the Alpha and the Omega"--"the Author and the Finisher;"--that there is
none other way by which the sinner can be saved and obtain entrance within
the heavenly gate; still, the ladder must be climbed. Hence the figures
employed to illustrate faith in the Redeemer seem beautifully to meet in the
symbol of the dream--a "fleeing" to Christ--a "laying hold" of Christ--a
"leaning" on Christ--a "trusting" in Christ--a "following on to know"
Christ; and at last, when the summit is reached, a "boldness to enter into
the holiest by the blood of Jesus." Hopelessly could we look for salvation
without "the way of access;" and yet as hopelessly, with that way of
access, could we attain the end of our faith, even the salvation of our
souls, if we neglected to make the upward ascent. True religion is no mere
mystic, passive dream of devotion--a gazing in rapt reverence, and no more,
on the great mystery of Godliness. Its best definition is a 'doing'
as well as a 'being.'
That is a spurious faith which is inoperative;
which cannot stand the crucial test of "working by love, purifying the heart
and overcoming the world." Indeed the more simple and real the belief in
Christ, the more unmistakably will it evidence itself by earnest aspirations
after holiness, and conformity to the Divine will and image. "Who is he that
overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of
God" (1 John 5:5). The way to heaven may be beside us--Salvation is offered
to us--God standing, as in the Bethel vision, at the portals of glory,
addressing us with the voice of pardoning mercy; but never let us cherish
the delusion that these heights may be scaled and the gates reached, by
remaining, like the Patriarch, slumbering at the ladder's base.
Two ideas, more prominent than others, seem to be brought
before us by the symbol.
The first is that of SUSTAINED EFFORT. Later
inspired writers, as if with the Bethel vision in view, thus exhort in a
variety of figure--"Work out your own salvation"--"Give all
diligence to make your calling and election sure"--"Let us labor
therefore to enter into that rest"--"Let us not sleep as do others,
but let us watch and be sober." It is the strenuousness of the combatant
pressing on to the goal. It is the fortitude of the warrior with every
muscle nerved for victory. It is the toil of the climber scaling the giddy
battlements. It is the watchful vigilance of the sentinel who knows that one
unguarded moment may be surrender and death. "The immortal garland," says
Milton in one of his noble sentences, "is not to be won without dust and
The second idea, one almost involved in that of effort,
is PROGRESS. There is no possibility of standing still in the divine
life. This is, or ought at least, to be the motto of every Christian
climber, "Not as though I had already attained." His eye must be upwards,
and his footsteps onwards. No leisure for halting, no loitering or lingering
in the ascent. Every day should find him farther from earth and nearer
heaven. The history of all Pilgrims to the Celestial City should be that of
the worshipers of old crowding to the earthly Jerusalem--"They go from
strength to strength; every one of them in Zion, appears before God" (Ps.
A saintly patriarch of the last generation, in answer to
the question 'when he would rest?' significantly replied, "I shall rest in
Eternity." "Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life" (
Rev. 2:10). Elijah's chariot of fire, seated in which he peacefully went up
from his tempestuous career on earth to the stormless skies and scenes of
"the Better Country," is a true and beautiful emblem of the believer's calm
departure, when the good fight has been fought--the course finished, the
victory won--repose on the night of battle. But more appropriate to the
Christian's daily spiritual history, is the emblem revealed over the couch
of the Bethel dreamer--an ascending pathway--demanding toil, labor,
progress; a pathway not to be admired and contemplated, but to be earnestly
pursued--advancing from grace to grace, from virtue to virtue, from
attainment to attainment; breathing an increasingly purer atmosphere, as
earth is left behind in dimmer perspective.
Reader, whether young or old, whether at life's morning
or mid day, have you fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before you?
Or, turning away from this glorious road, are you contented with the poor
ascent by which thousands reach their ideal heaven (their only
heaven), that of the present? We do not now speak of those baser
ladders, scaled by not a few, who are all unscrupulous as to how their
sensuous Mohammedan paradise, with its purple, and fine linen, and golden
lures, is reached--it may even be by means of cringing flattery or villain
imposture--their advancing steps (what is misnamed promotion) sometimes
paved with the tears of the widow and the orphan. We speak rather to those
who, it may be with fair moral characters and average worldly reputations,
are yet indifferent and careless regarding "the one thing needful; whose
sole dream is that of earthly success; who have no thought and no desire to
knock at better gates, and to aspire at nobler climbings; who are lying
pillowed on this cold world--dreamers like Jacob, dreaming and dreaming on,
even though whispering voices from the earth itself, are heard continually
proclaiming, "The world passes away."
As immortal beings you are not where you should be! You
have within you aspirations after the Infinite, and, with these capacities,
you cannot be happy until you have found that Infinite One as your portion.
We do not pity the insect creeping at our feet. It is in its native element.
It was earth-born, and therefore its happiness is in earth. But the wounded
eagle that has been cleaving the skies, mounting with bold pinion, if it be
seen with broken wing fluttering and struggling on the ground, we pity it.
Why? because it has fallen from its native element. That child of the
sun--that winged Lucifer--has been hurled, disabled to the dust from its
freeborn soarings. While the worm creates no pity, that fallen monarch does!
Such, also, ought to be the sorrow and sympathy for every
human soul born for God and eternity yet oblivious to its lofty destinies.
"Awake, you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you
life." If yours still be early years--the starting point of existence, with
the ascent still before you--all the more need and urgency to leave the
fleeting, the counterfeit, the illusory, the temporal, and to aspire to the
glory and grandeur of being a climber for immortality! "Even the youths
shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall--but those
who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with
wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and
not faint" (Is. 40:30, 31).
And if any who trace these lines feel repressed by a
sadder deterrent and hindrance--a consciousness of the self-forfeiture of
Salvation and its blessings by reason of indulged sin; that they have
thereby rendered themselves, so to speak, ineligible for attempting the
heavenward ascent; let them not be guilty of seeming to create impediment
when God has erected none. Rather let past misdeeds and shortcomings serve
as incentives for fresh efforts and aspirations after the holy, the good,
and the true. Let them listen to the words of the greatest of the Christian
Fathers, as they are thus paraphrased and nobly expanded by the American
"Saint Augustine too truly said,
That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread
Beneath our feet each deed of shame!
"All common things--each day's events,
That with the hour begin and end;
Our pleasures and our discontents
Are rounds by which we may ascend.
"The low desire, the base design
That makes another's virtues less;
The revel of the giddy wine,
And all occasions of excess!
"The longing for ignoble things,
The strife for triumph more than truth,
The hardening of the heart that brings
Irreverence for the dreams of youth!
"All thoughts of sin--all evil deeds
That have their roots in thoughts of ill;
Whatever hinders or impedes
The action of the nobler will.
"We have no wings, we cannot soar;
But we have feet to scale and climb
By slow degrees--by more and more--
The cloudy summits of our time.
"The mighty pyramids of stone
That, wedge-like, cleave the desert airs,
When nearer seen and better known
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
"Nor deem the irrevocable past
As wholly wasted--wholly vain,
If, rising on its wrecks at last,
To something nobler we attain."
Finally, let us all seek to be animated by the thought of
multitudes who have already scaled the steps of the Heavenly stair, who are
now lining the battlements of the sky, witnessing to its security and
strength. Many of these were once weak and helpless and perishing as we.
Yes, and by that Divinely provided way of access, the chief of sinners have
reached their crowns. The thief on the cross is there--he stoops to tell
that none can climb too late. The woman from the city is there--she stoops
to tell that none can climb too vile. Saul of Tarsus is there--he stoops to
tell what God's grace can do in transforming the blaspheming persecutor into
the devoted apostle and the glorious martyr. Prophets call us! Saints call
us! Departed friends who have fallen asleep in Jesus, call us! They testify
that there is still an open door of welcome--room for all--grace for
all--blood for all!--crowns for all! Can we decline the summons of the
mighty multitude gone to colonize the many mansions? Let us not be slothful,
but "followers of them (the true seed of Jacob), who, through faith and
patience, are now inheriting the promises!"