And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man…
The common argument, founded on this for the lawfulness of the military profession, seems unanswerable. It is true that war is contrary to the mild spirit of Christianity, and that the guilt of it must be always chargeable, at least on one side. But there are several professions for which there would be no use, were it not for human depravity and injustice; e.g., there would be no use for magistrates or for civil or criminal law at all, were it not for the lawless and disobedient. So, though it is often a delicate point to settle when war becomes just or necessary, its justice and necessity in some cases are beyond dispute, and therefore the employment of the soldier must, generally speaking, be a lawful one. But, to look no farther than to the authority before us, when soldiers under concern about salvation and the path of duty applied to John for direction, would that intrepid teacher have hesitated a moment, if their profession had been unlawful, to tell them so, and to exhort them to quit it immediately, whatever might have been the consequence? Instead of this, however, he tells them how to conduct themselves in it.
(James Foote, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.