11 Beware then of useless grumbling, and keep your tongue from slander; because no secret word is without result, a and a lying mouth destroys the soul. 12 Do not invite death by the error of your life, or bring on destruction by the works of your hands; 13because God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.14 For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. 15 For righteousness is immortal.
Date: 100-50 B.C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
Cyprian Epistles 51
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds; whom certainly the Lord would not exhort to repentance, if it were not that He promises mercy to them that repent. And in the Gospel He says, I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance. For since it is written, God did not make death, neither has He pleasure in the destruction of the living, assuredly He who wills that none should perish, desires that sinners should repent, and by repentance should return again to life. Thus also He cries by Joel the prophet, and says, And now, thus says the Lord your God, Turn even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and return unto the Lord your God; for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repents Him of the evil appointed. In the Psalms, also, we read as well the rebuke as the clemency of God, threatening at the same time as He spares, punishing that He may correct; and when He has corrected, preserving. I will visit, He says, their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless, my loving-kindness will I not utterly take from them.