(This Epistle should be read in connection with the three addressed to Eusebius of Cæsarea, to which it refers. For the circumstances see General Prolegomena, § 1, p. 194.)
It is a time for prudence and endurance, and that we should not let anyone appear to be of higher courage than ourselves, or let all our labours and toils be in an instant brought to nothing. Why do I write this, and wherefore? Our Bishop Eusebius, very dear to God (for so we must for the future both think and write of him), is very much disposed to agreement and friendship with us; and as fire softens iron, so has time softened him; and I think a letter of appeal and invitation will come to you from him, as he intimated to me, and as many persons who are well acquainted with his affairs assure me. Let us be beforehand with him then, either by going to him, or by writing to him; or rather by first writing and then going; in order that we may not by and by be put to shame by being defeated when it was in our power to secure a victory by being honourably and philosophically beaten, which so many are asking from us. Be persuaded by me then, and come; both on this account and on account of the bad times; for a conspiracy of heretics is assailing the Church; some of them are here now, and are troubling us; and others, rumour says, are coming; and there is reason to fear lest the Word of Truth should be swept away, unless there be stirred up very soon the spirit of a Bezaleel, the wise Master builder of such arguments and dogmas. If you think I ought to go too, to stay with you and travel with you, I will not refuse to do even this.
(We insert here the three letters to Eusebius, which are so closely connected with the above as not to seem out of place.)