Sirach 27:5

Deuterocanon (Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus)

3 If a person is not steadfast in the fear of the Lord, his house will be quickly overthrown. 4 When a sieve is shaken, the refuse appears; so do a person's faults when he speaks. 5 The kiln tests the potter's vessels; so the test of a person is in his conversation. 6 Its fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so a person's speech discloses the cultivation of his mind. 7 Do not praise anyone before he speaks, for this is the way people are tested. Source

Date: 195-175 B.C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)

Augustine City of God 21.26

Patristic (On the City of God Against the Pagans)

Would you hear, in the apostle's own words, who he is who builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones? He that is unmarried, he says, cares for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord. Would you hear who he is that builds wood, hay, stubble? But he that is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,— the day, no doubt, of tribulation — because, says he, it shall be revealed by fire. He calls tribulation fire, just as it is elsewhere said, The furnace proves the vessels of the potter, and the trial of affliction righteous men. Source

Date: 426 C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
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