22 June 1828
adams-john10 Emily Wieder

22. IV:15. Sunday— Sun rose 4:42.

Heard at the Unitarian Church this morning, Mr Burnap, from Romans 14.7. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” A Dissertation, upon the importance to the character and conduct of every individual, of his influence upon the destinies of others— The most remarkable part of the Sermon was a contrasted parallel between the Characters and the historical fortunes of Buonaparte, and of Washington; of the former of whom he spoke in terms of unqualified severity, and of th latter with equal panegyric— Buonaparte should have said when dying [“]Oh! what a wounded name I leave behind”— Mr Burnap said his influence over the fortunes of others was greater than that of any man that ever lived—and that he turned it all to bad purpose— Neither of these assertions was correct— When Buonaparte was at the pinnacle of his power in the Summer of 1810 I told poor Six d’Oterbeck then Minister of Louis Buonaparte at St. Petersburg, that Napoleon knew nothing but how to win Battles; and that after all standing by itself was but a precarious kind of knowledge— Six then all but worshipped him—but he told me that Napoleon, had conceived the opinion that he was possessed of supernatural power— That he was more than a human being; and that this phantasy had taken possession of all his family. Six believed that he would finish by establishing a Western Empire, embracing the whole Continent of Europe, and that he would claim to be the prophet of God, and enact over again the Tragedy of Mahomet— He also believed that he would succeed in carrying that plan into effect— Bonaparte was a man of great genius for military combinations and operations—whose head was turned by success—who had magnificent imaginations, and some generous purposes; but was under no controul of moral principle. Very shortly after my conversation with Six, here referred to Napoleon drove his brother Louis from the throne of Holland which he annexed to the French Empire— Six d’Oterbeck was recalled, and not long afterwards drowned in one of the Canals of Amsterdam— Napoleon and his preternatural power have crumbled into dust; and now he becomes the Moral of a Sermon against selfishness— Mr Burnap’s evening Sermon was from the Psalms, on the omnipotence and omniscience of God— He has been recently ordained as Minister of the Unitarian Church at Baltimore— I read some pages of Evelyn’s Silva, and was much struck in Dr Hunter’s Commentary with the marvelous Account of the Devonshire or Lucombe Oak, from the 62d. Volume of the Philosophical Transactions—