After Many Days: Chapter 4: Clearer Light

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 9
NIGHT after night Adolf Pascilin read the Bible to his wife, who listened with ever-growing interest and attention. Both were learning, taught by the Holy Spirit from the simple teaching of the word of God, the way of salvation by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus; and when they saw that they too might be numbered among the children of God, their joy was deep and lasting.
One evening Adolf read, "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins." (1 John 3:55And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5).) He laid down the Bible, and after a few moments' thought exclaimed, "O Annette, how simple it is. It is the Lord Jesus Himself who takes away our sins. Not one word is added about a priest, and we are not even told to do penance for our sins. I do not see that either can be needed for our salvation. If they are I cannot understand why they are not mentioned by the Apostle John who wrote these wonderful letters.”
Again he read, "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(1 Tim. 2: 5.) "One mediator!" he cried joyfully, "and that One the Son of God; but," and a shadow seemed for a moment to damp his joy, as he continued, "how shall I who am a sinner dare to approach such a great and holy Person?”
"Does not the book also say, `Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find'?" Annette asked. "When you read those wondrous words to me more than a week ago I took courage, though I am but a poor woman, to ask God to make me one of His children, and I tell our little ones some of the words of the book, and they are so pleased, and say, 'Why does not father read the book to us? '”
"So I will, God helping me," Adolf said with deep earnestness.
Though at first the Pascilins had intended to keep their discovery of the Bible a secret, they soon longed to share with others the joy that filled their own souls. They began by telling their children of the Savior who loved and blessed the little ones. They had no very near neighbors, but among the dwellers in the valley were many who had never even heard of the love of God to sinners. Among the Romanists the custom was to go to mass quite early on the morning of every Lord's day, then keeping up the line of things that had continued for many generations among the Swiss peasants, they all assembled on some open space and spent the afternoon in dancing and other amusements, often continued until lengthening shadows reminded them that it was time to disperse to their somewhat scattered homes.
From the day on which Adolf Pascilin and his wife began to read the Bible, they had found such absorbing interest in its contents that every spare moment was devoted to its study; and as it was well known in the valley that Adolf did not work on the day of rest, it was not long before their absence from those weekly gatherings was noticed. But though no one guessed the real cause it called forth a good deal of remark.
“How can the Pascilins live without amusement?" said one who knew them. "I cannot think how they spend their time in that out-of-the-way cottage now that they no longer come to the weekly dance, where even those who do not care for dancing can always meet their friends and talk over all the news of the valley.”
It was not long before Adolf was asked by one who had known him in his boyhood to give a reason for their absence. "Pray come to my house and see for yourself," replied Adolf in his good-natured way. "Bring as many of our country people as you can, my good friend, and I will promise to entertain you all very pleasantly, even though I shall not invite you to dance." Though some of the villagers who had begun to suspect Pascilin of heresy refused his invitation, others led by curiosity went to his cottage.
There was not one of that little company to whom the Bible was not a new book. They had heard, or might have heard, some portions of the Old and New Testaments read, but they had never read the word of God for themselves; and when Adolf in simple but very earnest words told them not only how and where he had found the long-hidden Bible, but what God had done for his soul, and spoke of the joy and peace that were his through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, all listened with marked attention while he read several passages from the gospels, explaining them, and answering the questions that were put to him as well as he was able.
And though some fearing the anger of the priest never ventured to repeat their visit, there were others whose heart-hunger for the Bread of Life was too keen to be satisfied without going again and again to hear and learn more. So week by week the little company grew; and though their Bible readings reached the ears of the priest, he found himself quite unable to stop the work of God in the valley.