As the word is usually understood, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was to confer special gifts for Christ's service. We have no reason to suppose that any man becomes a Christian without the influence of the Holy Spirit. The question is profitless, inasmuch as God gives the Holy Spirit freely. It would be impossible to state positively in what way the first impression comes in any individual case, but we may be sure that in some way the Holy Spirit's power has operated. This does not relieve any one from responsibility, because God is more willing to impart than men are to receive; but he does not force his gifts upon men.