After two years' discipleship the Hegelian influence began to slacken.
More than a modicum of rusticity is needed as a protection to a man who attempts such colossal reforms. This necessity had its consequences in the disquieting inequalities of Wagner's early work, and the undeniable egotism that embittered his fiery nature throughout his life; while the cut-and-dried system of culture of later Wagnerian discipleship has revenged him in a specially sacerdotal type of tradition, which makes progress even in the study of his works impossible except through revolt.
Yet, even there, his discipleship shows certain limitations.
Such pre-eminence was but the sequel of personal distinctions visible even in the preparatory days of discipleship, and it warns us against viewing the primitive facts touching apostles in the official light of later times.
Yet as the author of Gulliver he is still read all over the world, while in England discipleship to Swift is recognized as one of the surest passports to a prose style.
And its greatness appears in its inexhaustibly deep teachings concerning Christ's sheep and fold; the Father's drawing of souls to Christ; the dependence of knowledge as to Christ's doctrine upon the doing of God's will; the fulfilling of the commandment of love, as the test of true discipleship; eternal life, begun even here and now; and God a Spirit, to be served in spirit and in truth.
Presently we find an offer of discipleship met by the warning that " the Son of Man " is a homeless wanderer; and then the stern refusal of a request for leave to perform a father's funeral rites.