J.C. Ryle: The Spirit In God’s Elect
And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." – John 1:32-34
The familiarity which John displays with the Holy Ghost and His work, deserves particular attention. To say, as many do, that the Holy Ghost was not known until the day of Pentecost, is a saying which cannot be proved.
The Holy Ghost has always been in the hearts of believers in every age of the world. His abundant outpouring is undoubtedly a leading mark of the days since Christ came into the world. But the Holy Ghost was ever in God’s elect, and without Him there was never a soul saved.”
(J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts On The Gospels, Vol 3, p.67)