Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Cyprian/The Treatises of Cyprian/Exhortation to Martyrdom/Part 10
9. That afflictions and persecutions arise for the sake of our being proved.
In Deuteronomy, “The Lord your God proveth you, that He may know if ye love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” And again, Solomon: “The furnace proveth 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 worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and hope maketh 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 falleth upon you, which happens for your trial; and fail not, as if some new thing were happening unto you. But as often as ye 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 ye be reproached in the name of Christ, happy are ye; because the name of the majesty and power of the Lord resteth upon you; which indeed according to them is blasphemed, but according to us is honoured.”
- Deut. xiii. 3.
- Ecclus. xxvii. 5.
- Rom. v. 2–5.
- 1 Pet. iv. 12–14.