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The Mission of Tyranny

June 25, 1884 — 51st Annual Commencement of the Department of Philosophy and the Arts, First Church, Oberlin College, Oberlin OH


From evil can come good, as from the darkness of night the light of the sun. And so tyranny, though it has crushed many a heart, blighted many a life, has a mission well defined, and has played no insignificant part in the progress of nations. Tyranny has revealed the nature of the human heart. It has shown man as a fiend, and pictured him with an inspiration almost divine. Tyranny has another work which has wrought well for the world. Look back over the history of the ages, and whence has come the inspiration of those who have lifted themselves from the level of the brute to the dignity of manhood? Has it not come from the oppressor’s chains? Tyranny’s mission is to teach. It has Proclaimed in clarion tones, which have echoed and re-echoed through all the battles, “Man must be free.”



Source: Commencement Annual, June 26, 1884, Oberlin College Library, Oberlin OH.