The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Religion Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
There was a rustle in the gallery, which nobody noticed; a moment later the church door creaked; the minister raised his streaming eyes above his handkerchief, and stood transfixed! First one and then another pair of eyes followed the minister's, and then almost with one impulse the congregation rose and stared while the three dead boys came marching up the aisle, Tom in the lead, Joe next, and Huck, a ruin of drooping rags, sneaking sheepishly in the rear! They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon! (17.12)
Though the scene is primarily comic, the boys' entrance into church is, in its own way, a resurrection scene. They, as far as the congregation is concerned, have come back from the dead.
There had been a "revival," and everybody had "got religion," not only the adults, but even the boys and girls. Tom went about, hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment crossed him everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. […] Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression; and when, in desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all the town was lost, forever and forever. (22.12)
Twain captures the speed and power with which a "revival" can sweep through a town. Soon enough, though, things are back to business as usual; the old ways creep back in just as fast as they were chased out.
"Most always -- most always. He ain't no account; but then he hain't ever done anything to hurt anybody. Just fishes a little, to get money to get drunk on -- and loafs around considerable; but lord, we all do that -- leastways most of us -- preachers and such like." (23.19)
Here, Huck takes a little jab at the preaching profession – but only so that he can paint Muff Potter in a better light.