The object of the present book is to set out in as simple and clear a form as may be possible the doctrines about the Holy Eucharist which have been current among Christians. It is not the aim of the author to enter into controversial arguments or theological reasonings to any extent beyond that which the intelligible treatment of facts necessarily involves. . . . But the purpose of the following pages is to provide an historical account of the actual forms in which Christian belief has been held. . . . History has its own ways of avenging itself on those who ignore its lessons. Candid investigation is not always the enemy of faith. And, if there is to be a way out of current controversies, and a lessening of discord, and a step towards that outward unity of Christendom for which true Christians long, it will be as facts are realised and the history of doctrine is grasped and understood. Those who live in the present and work for the future will build on but insecure foundations if they suffer themselves to be unmindful of the past.
--from volume 1, chapter 1