Uncle Tom's Cabin repeatedly references the Bible, especially the New Testament. The dominant morality of the United States is, according to Beecher Stowe, a Christian one, and slavery is utterly incompatible with it. Uncle Tom owns only one book—the Bible—and is often found reading it, slowly and with great religious feeling. He quotes the Bible to educate Eva, Cassy, and others, and to find the strength to survive his own trials. The Quakers who help George, Eliza, and Harry escape—and who take in Tom Loker despite his aggression toward them—justify their actions not as generosity to black people but as a duty to God and man, demanded of them by the Bible. Miss Ophelia embodies a colder, more distant “Northern” Christianity, which values the lives of slaves but is unwilling to help them personally. But as the novel continues, it becomes clear that the Golden Rule is the paramount Christian law: humans ought to treat one another as they themselves wish to be treated.
Uncle Tom serves as a Christ-figure or martyr in the novel. Tom dies protecting Cassy and Emmeline and will not whip his fellow slaves; he suffers so that others might live. Eva demonstrates a kind of saintliness: she behaves in strict accordance with Jesus' teachings, and her death is an example to her father, causing him to regain his faith (however briefly before he is killed). Ultimately, Beecher Stowe argues through the novel that a more truly Christian system of values in the United States would eradicate slavery altogether and render Uncle Tom's and Eva’s sacrifices unnecessary.
Christianity and Christian Charity ThemeTracker
Christianity and Christian Charity Quotes in Uncle Tom's Cabin
I an’t a Christian like you, Eliza; my heart’s full of bitterness; I can’t trust in God. Why does he let things be so?
Uncle Tom was a sort of patriarch in religious matters . . . . Having, naturally, an organization in which the morale was strongly predominant, together with a greater breadth and cultivation of mind than obtained among his companions . . . .
This is God’s curse on slavery!—a bitter, bitter, most accursed thing!—a curse to the master and a curse to the slave! I was a fool to think I could make anything good out of such a deadly evil.
You ought to be ashamed, John! Poor, homeless, houseless creatures! It’s a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I’ll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance . . . .
But you haven’t got us. We don’t own your laws; we don’t own your country; we stand here as free, under God’s sky, as you are; and, by the great God that made us, we’ll fight for our liberty till we die.
On this abstract question of slavery there can, as I think, be but one opinion. Planters, who have money to make by it—clergymen, who have planters to please—politicians, who want to rule by it—may warp and bend language . . . they can press nature and the Bible . . . into their service; but, after all, neither they nor the world believe in it one particle the more.
But, of course, I didn’t want you to confess things you didn’t do . . . that’s telling a lie, just as much as the other.
Utmost agony, woe, degradation, want, and loss of all things, shall only hasten on the process by which he [the slave] shall be made a king and a priest unto God!
O, Mas’r! don’t bring this great sin on your soul. It will hurt you more than ‘twill me! Do the worst you can, my troubles’ll be over soon; but, if ye don’t repent, yours won’t never end!
I trust that the development of Africa is to be essentially a Christian one. If not a dominant and commanding race, they are, at least, an affectionate, magnanimous, and forgiving one.
A day of grace is yet held out to us. Both North and South have been guilty before God; and the Christian church has a heavy account to answer . . . .For, not surer is the eternal law by which the millstone sinks in the ocean, than that stronger law, by which injustice and cruelty shall bring on nations the wrath of Almighty God!