The proverbial philosophy of a people helps us to understand more about them than any other kind of literature.
Contemporary literature in the West has shown some signs of ethical change.
I often imagine that the longer he studies English literature the more the Japanese student must be astonished at the extraordinary predominance given to the passion of love both in fiction and in poetry.
For this reason, to study English literature without some general knowledge of the relation of the Bible to that literature would be to leave one's literary education very incomplete.
It is no exaggeration to say that the English Bible is, next to Shakespeare, the greatest work in English literature, and that it will have much more influence than even Shakespeare upon the written and spoken language of the English race.
It is true that short forms of poetry have been cultivated in the Far East more than in modern Europe; but in all European literature short forms of poetry are to be found - indeed quite as short as anything in Japanese.
There are two methods for the literary study of any book - the first being the study of its thought and emotion; the second only that of its workmanship. A student of literature should study some of the Bible from both points of view.