Loved His Country

I like to see a patriotic man. He began to inquire about his people

and about the city that was very near to his heart, Jerusalem. He

had never seen the city. He had no relations back there in Jerusalem

that he knew of. Nehemiah was not a Jewish prince, although it is

supposed he had royal blood in his veins. He was born in captivity.

It was about one hundred years after Jerusalem was taken that he

appeared upon the ho
izon. He was in the court of Artaxerxes, a

cupbearer to the king, and held a high position. Yet he longed to

hear from his native land. When these men told him the condition of

the city, that the people were in great want and distress and

degradation, and that the walls of the city were still down, that

the gates had been burned and never restored, his patriotic heart

began to burn. We are told he fasted and prayed and wept, and not

only did he pray for one week, or one month, but he kept on praying.

He prayed "day and night." Having many duties to perform, of course

he was not always on his knees, but in heart he was ever before the

throne of grace. It was not hard for him to understand and obey the

precept, "Pray without ceasing." He began the work in prayer,

continued in prayer, and the last recorded words of Nehemiah are a


It was in November or December when those men arrived at that court,

and this man prayed on until March or April before he spoke to the

king. If a blessing doesn't come to-night, pray harder to-morrow,

and if it doesn't come to-morrow, pray harder, and then, if it

doesn't come keep right on, and you will not be disappointed. God in

heaven will hear your prayers, and will answer them. He has never

failed, if a man has been honest in his petitions and honest in his

confessions. Let your faith beget patience. God is never in a hurry,

said St. Augustine, because He has all eternity to work.

In the first chapter of Nehemiah is