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.

Cyprian Treatises 7:13


13 Thus, moreover, the Apostle Paul, after shipwrecks, after scourgings, after many and grievous tortures of the flesh and body, says that he is not grieved, but benefited by his adversity, in order that while he is sorely afflicted he might more truly be proved. There was given to me, he says, a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be lifted up: for which thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me; and He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for strength is made perfect in weakness. When, therefore, weakness and inefficiency and any destruction seize us, then our strength is made perfect; then our faith, if when tried it shall stand fast, is crowned; as it is written, The furnace tries the vessels of the potter, and the trial of tribulation just men. This, in short, is the difference between us and others who know not God, that in misfortune they complain and murmur, while adversity does not call us away from the truth of virtue and faith, but strengthens us by its suffering.

 Notes and References

"... The eighty-fifth of the Apostolical Canons provides a list of the books in the Hebrew Canon and additionally includes the first three books of the Maccabees and the Wisdom of Sirach. However, these last four books are not included in the Canon, although the Wisdom of Sirach is specially recommended for the instruction of the young. In the Apostolical Constitutions, specifically in sections vi. 14 and 15 (also known as the Didascalia), quotations from Sirach are given with the same formula as those from the books of the Hebrew Canon. Yet, in section ii. 57 of the same work, there is no mention of any of the books of the Apocrypha. On the other hand, at the Council of Hippo in A.D. 393, Sirach was specially mentioned as one of the canonical books. This was further supported at the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397, where the "five books of Solomon," namely Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Wisdom, and Sirach, were reckoned among the canonical Scriptures. (Between the years A.D. 390 and 419 no less than six councils were held in Africa, and four of these at Carthage. For a time, under the inspiration of Aurelius and Augustine, the Church of Tertullian and Cyprian was filled with a new life before its fatal desolation ...) This decision was also confirmed by the Council of Carthage in A.D. 419. As we delve into what the Church Fathers have said regarding the canonicity of the book, our attention first turns to the Eastern Church ..."

Charles, R. H. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (p. 299) Oxford University Press, 1913

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