Your challenge: pick the decade in which the following words were penned.
Don’t cheat! The answer is down further.
(I am helping you, you know, by including a couple of extra paragraphs.)
The ears of our generation have been made so delicate by the senseless multitude of flatterers that, as soon as we perceive that anything of ours is not approved of, we cry out that we are being bitterly assailed; and when we can repel the truth by no other pretence, we escape by attributing bitterness, impatience, intemperance, to our adversaries. What would be the use of salt if it were not pungent, or of the edge of the sword if it did not slay?
Any ideas yet?
The words are from Martin Luther, and were penned in 1520 in Concerning Christian Liberty. It was an amazing year for Luther, with three seminal tracts. (The other two were The Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, and The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.)
Luther was frustrated that any criticism was met with a crafty sidestep, ‘That’s a bit strong.’ I’m pretty sure it was not just his generation with that problem.