The Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Unbelievers and Believers

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers? Does the Holy Spirit give gifts to unbelievers as well as to believers? These are among the important questions tackled by Clement Read Vaughan (1827-1911) in The Gifts of the Holy Spirit to Unbelievers and Believers (1894). 

Famous for editing the Discussions of his life-long friend Robert Lewis Dabney, and noted for his biographical sketch of Thomas Ephraim Peck, Vaughan was also a beloved minister and theologian who was Dabney's successor at Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. According to Morton Smith, Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology, p. 295, he was "an Old School Presbyterian." Thomas Cary Johnson wrote a very useful biographical of Vaughan in the Union Seminary Magazine (which uses the name 'Vaughn' throughout). 

In this particular study of the Holy Spirit, Vaughan looks first at the ways in the Holy Spirit performs His work amongst unbelievers. These "common operations of the Spirit" (Westminster Confession of Faith 10.4 and Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A #68) include the restraint of depravity in man, and awakening and convicting influences that work in the conscience of men, even the reprobate. 

Next, with a view towards helping saints better apprehend "the comfort of hope," Vaughan explores how the Spirit gives knowledge to believers, seals, witnesses, leads, intercedes, comforts, and gives graces to those who are thereby become the children of God. 

The practical benefits of such a study of this cannot be understated. This is a valuable 19th century American Presbyterian contribution to our understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit both within and without the spiritual kingdom of Christ. Bookmark this volume for further prayerful study, and be comforted, dear saints.