At church, a friend handed me this quote, attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte:
“Alexander’s kingdom and my kingdom will ultimately come to naught. But, Jesus’ kingdom is indestructible, because His kingdom is ruled by the power of love.”
I had, in the past, heard that Bonaparte believed in the deity of Jesus.
I think that Napoleon, in his later years, had changed his views on many things, God included. It seems that the quotes I have been able to attribute to Napoleon, regarding his beliefs, came in his later years, especially during those moments of exile, when he must have had plenty of time to just think.
I discovered this on the “www.adherents.com” website, with most of the information culled from Jesus Among Other Gods by Ravi Zacharias, 2000, W. Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee … quoting from Henry Parry Liddon, Liddon’s Bampton Lectures 1866 (London: Rivingtons, 1869), 148.
Apparently, Napoleon Bonaparte had a strong belief in God, but he voiced many criticisms of organized religion. Many quotes by Napoleon indicate a strong belief in Jesus Christ. Possibly Napoleon’s views changed over time, or possibly some quotes have been inaccurately attributed to him.
From: Ervin Shaw, “Napoleon Bonaparte: ‘Emperor’ to EMPEROR” webpage, posted circa 2000, latest addition 14 August 2005; in “Christian Testimonies” section of “The Truth . . . What Is It?” website (http://poptop.hypermart.net/testnapb.html;
“I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity…” So says Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), emperor of France.
Napoleon expressed the following thoughts while he was exiled on the rock of St. Helena. There, the conqueror of civilized Europe had time to reflect on the measure of his accomplishments. He called Count Montholon to his side and asked him, “Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?” The count declined to respond. Napoleon countered:
Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him. . . . I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man; none else is like Him: Jesus Christ was more than a man. . . . I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me . . . but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke to them, I lightened up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts . . . Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of eighteen hundred years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable, supernatural love toward Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man’s creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.”
Now, these quotes, from www.giga-usa.com:
“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded empires; but upon what do these creations of our genius depend? Upon force, Jesus alone founded His empire upon love; and to this very day millions would die for Him.”
“All systems of morality are fine. The gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few common-place sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.”
“All the scholastic scaffolding falls, as a ruined edifice, before one single word-faith.”
“From first to last, Jesus is the same; always the same-majestic and simple, infinitely severe and infinitely gentle.”
“If you (to General Bertrand) do not perceive that Jesus Christ is God, very well; then I did wrong to make you a general.”
“Religion is, in fact, the dominion of the soul; it is the hope, the anchor of safety, the deliverance from evil. What a service has Christianity rendered to humanity!”
“What a solace Christianity must be to one who has an undoubted conviction of its truth!”
And, finally, this, from www.wordproject.org: