Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals: 73. The University of Arabia.

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals: 73. The University of Arabia.

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on Home Ideals (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 73. The University of Arabia.

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The University of Arabia.

School begins at birth, and ends—when? ever? never, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come. Not the school of books and benches. That begins its sessions later, and lets out earlier. But the higher school of atmosphere and surroundings, of personal influence and the give and take of common life.

The common experiences of life are invaluable in moulding character. The boy David went to a training school for kings, though he didn't know it. As he faithfully went his commonplace shepherd round, out in the open, tending his dumb charges, skilfully guiding, bravely guarding, he was in training for higher shepherd duties.

Experiences that test and sift offer the finest opportunities for the making of strong character. Young Joseph went to the University of Egypt, with a prison-house for a schoolroom. The teaching was all done by the Head Master Himself. There was no class-work. It was all individual instruction. He had the Teacher all to himself. That is the plan of instruction in the school of life. And when he graduated he was ready for the premiership of a world-power.

Moses' education was in three courses, home, school, and God; with his mother, with the university professors, and then with the sheep and the stars and God. His mother taught him love and patriotism; the professors, science and arts, literature and law. The desert course was all seminar work; it took him back of the university work to the original sources.

His mother trained his heart, the teachers his mental powers, God taught and trained his spirit. The home taught him love, and love of right; the University of Egypt, mental culture; the University of Arabia, self-mastery through God-mastery. A man may get along without the school course, though he is much stronger and better with it. But no man's education is complete until he has been trained by a love-taught woman, and by God.

No man ever amounts to much who hasn't had something of a course in the University of Arabia—the schooling of hard experience. Pure Joseph, patient Moses, fiery Elijah, rugged John the Herald, versatile Paul,—tent-maker and preacher, sturdy Luther, lonely Morrison, brave Judson amid the privations of Burmah, even the divine Son Himself—these are a few of the distinguished graduates. But there's many another, less known, who did as good school-work there, and gave as good an account of himself. Carey's cobbling shop, Bunyan's tinker-shop and prison cell, and Paton's cotton-loom did fine training work.

Your wilderness course may be within four narrow walls with the upward look easiest physically, or, within a small village or town, or a commonplace shop, or a humble house, or in some daily drudge round. But remember that's only the schoolroom. The finest training has been done in the homeliest school-rooms. The chief thing is the presence of the Head Master, and of a willing, hard-working pupil. You can be sure of the first, and you can make sure of the second.