Sirach 27:5

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.

Date: 195-175 B.C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates

Cyprian Treatises 11:13

13 In Deuteronomy, The Lord your God proves you, that He may know if you love the Lord. your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. And again, Solomon: The furnace proves the potter's vessel, and righteous men the trial of tribulation. Paul also testifies similar things, and speaks, saying: We glory in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us. And Peter, in his epistle, lays it down, and says: Beloved, be not surprised at the fiery heat which falls upon you, which happens for your trial; and fail not, as if some new thing were happening unto you. But as often as you communicate with the sufferings of Christ, rejoice in all things, that also in the revelation made of His glory you may rejoice with gladness. If you be reproached in the name of Christ, happy are you; because the name of the majesty and power of the Lord rests upon you; which indeed according to them is blasphemed, but according to us is honoured. 1

Date: 245-260 C.E.
* Dates are based on scholarly estimates