The amazing but true witness of Napoleon Bonaparte
When Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled on St. Helena, he was asked by one of his friends, “Who was the greatest warrior the world has ever known?”
Without hesitation, Napoleon answered, “Jesus Christ.”
“But” said his friend, “you have not always talked that way. When you were winning battles, even up to the very time of Waterloo, you left the impression that you were the world’s greatest warrior.”
This is how Napoleon replied: ”Yes, I have always acted as though I was the world’s greatest conqueror. I have had lots of time to think since I have been here on this island.
“The Caesars, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Charlemagne and myself have fought with blood and tears and swords of iron, and we lost.
“All of us lost. We lost our sceptres, our crowns and our offices.
“The only sword Christ had was a broken reed: His crown, some twisted thorns. His army, a band of fishermen and farmers. His ammunition, a heart of redeeming love.
“He lives, and I and my kind may die. I stand here and call for the Old Guard to come, but they do not hear me. There are no responding voices. My old soldiers do not hear me.
“I hear nothing but the waves as they bite-at the rock beneath my feet. But after these centuries have gone into the tomb of time, Christ calls and men answer.
“If need be, they give their bodies to be burned: if need be, they follow Him into the heart of Africa; but better still, they live patient and triumphant lives in His Name.
“Yes, the other warriors and I will ride down to dust, but Christ will live forever.”
Acknowledgement: “The Gospel Witness” Number 1
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