A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
The little town of Anworth was the home and the pride of that sweet soul, Rutherford, the Covenanter. One Saturday evening, so the story runs, his household were gathered together for their usual cotter's Saturday night's devotions, when an alarm was heard at the outer door. A stranger sought admission. He was welcomed with true hospitality, and took his place in the circle of those who were then answering the varied questions in the Catechism. It so chanced that the question, "How many commandments are there?" came to this newcomer, as the one to which he was to make reply, and instantly he answered, "Eleven." "What!" said Rutherford; "a man so experienced in life as you seem to be, and so educated in the law and the Scripture of God, not to know that there are but ten commandments!" The stranger answered, "'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.'" Startled by the answer, Ruther. ford proceeded with his service. The next morning before the hour of service, he walked from his humble manse along that pathway which is still spoken of as "Rutherford's Walk," towards the little church. It was early in the day, and he scarcely expected to meet anyone in the path; but over in the wood he heard the voice of someone in supplication. The moment he listened he recognized the stranger's tone. He sought him out, and demanded to know who he was. The stranger answered, "My name is Usher." He was the Archbishop and Primate of all Ireland. Having heard much of the piety of the Presbyterian Rutherford, he had, in this secret way, sought his society that he might judge for himself. Their hearts flowed together in the common devotion which they both felt toward the Lord Jesus, their Master; and when the hour of service came, together the Covenanter and the prelate walked to the little Anworth church, and Usher of Ireland preached to the Covenanters of Scotland on the new commandment, that "ye love one another." His presence there, his welcome there, his spirit and his words, were expositions of the truth of that which the Lord gave as the summing up of His own life.
(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.