The Rix-Finch Collection


Thomas Rix's Bible open at the frontispiece of

"A Collection
for the Use of the People called
by John Wesley, M. A.,
Sometime Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford."

A portrait of Wesley appears opposite the frontispiece.

The words of Thomas Rix's five favourite hymns from the collection are recorded also.

The collection in Thomas' Bible includes the renowned Preface written by Wesley, dated 20th October, 1779 in London, and 769 of his hymns.

In an exemplar of the reason why John Wesley and his followers were nicknamed 'Methodists', Wesley  provides  no less than four indexes in addition to a succinct, yet clearly detailed, table of Contents!

The indexes are entitled "Index to the Hymns", "An Index to the Subjects of the Hymns", "A Table of Texts of Scripture illustrated in this Volume" and "An Index to the First Line of Every Verse, except the First in each of the Hymns". 

Although likely to be dumbfounded by their names, one suspects that John Wesley would thrill at the prospect of utilising 'Google', 'Yahoo!', 'Bing' or 'Dogpile' if he returned to re-release his hymn collection 236 or more years later!!

Thomas Rix's favourite hymns from Wesley's collection are reproduced beneath this image.

John Wesley's hymns in Thomas Rix's Bible

The internal links lie below these hymns.
In the second part of his "Memoir" of his father published in the Wesleyan Methodist Church's 'The Spectator' on 26th June, 1891, Thomas Rix's son, Henry, wrote
"For years past the first thing on rising, and the last before retiring, he never failed to read his well-loved Bible.....  Occasionally he would read over some of the many hymns he used to delight in.  Those he loved most were:- No. 30, beginning with- 'Where shall my wondering soul....' .... No. 38.... No. 189.... No. 616.... No. 224...."
The words of these hymns are reproduced faithfully here, showing also Wesley's categorisation of them:-

Describing the Goodness of God

Where shall my wondering soul begin?
How shall I all to heaven aspire?
A slave redeem'd from death and sin,
A brand pluck'd from eternal fire,
How shall I equal triumphs raise,
Or sing my great Deliverer's praise?

And shall I slight my father's love?
Or basely fear his gifts to own?
Unmindful of his favours prove?
Shall I, the hallow'd cross to shun,
Refuse his righteousness to' impart,
By hiding it within my heart?

Outcasts of men, to you I call,
Harlots, and publicans, and thieves!
He spreads his arms to' embrace you all;
Sinners alone his grace receives:
No need of him the righteous have;
He came the lost to seek and save.

For you the purple current flow'd
In pardons from his wounded side;
Languish'd for you the' eternal God;
For you the Prince of Glory died:
Believe, and all your sin's forgiven;
Only believe, and yours is heaven!

O how shall I the goodness tell,
Father, which thou to me hast show'd?
That I, a child of wrath and hell,
I should be call'd a child of God,
Should know, should feel my sins forgiven,
Blest with this antepast of heaven!

No: though the ancient Dragon rage,
And call forth all his host of war;
Though earth's self-righteous sons engage;
Them, and their god, alike I dare;
Jesus, the sinner's Friend, proclaim;
Jesus to sinners still the same.

Come, O my guilty brethren, come,
Groaning beneath your load of sin;
His bleeding heart shall make you room,
His open side shall take you in:
He calls you now, invites you home;
Come, O my guilty brethren, come!

Describing the Goodness of God

O God, of  good the' unfathom'd Sea!
Who would not give his heart to thee?
Who would not love thee with his might, 
O Jesu, Lover of mankind?
Who would not his whole soul and mind,
With all his strength, to thee unite?

Astonish'd at thy frowning brow,
Earth, hell, and heaven's strong pillars bow;
Terrible majesty is thine!
Who then can that vast love express,
Which bows thee down to me, who less
Than nothing am, till thou art mine!

Fountain of good, all blessing flows
From thee; no want thy fulness knows:
What but thyself canst thou desire?
Yet, self-sufficient as thou art,
Thou dost desire my worthless heart:
This, only this, dost thou require.

Hell's armies tremble at thy nod,
And, trembling, own the' Almighty God,
Sovereign of earth, hell, air, and sky:
But who is this that comes from far,
Whose garments roll'd in blood appear?
'Tis God made man, for man to die.

Thou shin'st with everlasting rays:
Before the' insufferable blaze
Angels with both wings veil their eyes;
Yet, free as air thy bounty streams
On all thy works; thy mercy's  beams
Diffusive, as thy sun's, arise.

High throned on heaven's eternal hill,
In number, weight, and measure still
Thou sweetly orderest all that is:
And yet thou deign'st to come to me,
And guide my steps, that I, with thee
Enthroned, may reign in endless bliss.

Primeval Beauty! in thy sight,
The first-born, fairest sons of light
See all their brightest glories fade:
What then to me thine eyes could turn?
In sin conceived, of woman born,
A worm, a leaf, a blast, a shade!

O God, of  good the' unfathom'd Sea!
Who would not give his heart to thee?
Who would not love thee with his might, 
O Jesu, Lover of mankind?
Who would not his whole soul and mind,
With all his strength, to thee unite?

For Believers Rejoicing
HYMN 189

Now I have found the ground wherein
Sure my soul's anchor may remain:
The wounds of Jesus, for my sin
Before the world's foundation slain;
Whose mercy shall unshaken stay,
When heaven and earth are fled away.

O Love, thou bottomless abyss!
My sins are swallow'd up in thee;
Cover'd is my unrighteousness,
Nor spot of guilt remains on me,
While Jesu's blood, through earth and skies,
Mercy, free, boundless mercy, cries!

Though waves and storms go o'er my head,
Though strength, and health, and friends be gone,
Though joys be wither'd all and dead,
Though every comfort be withdrawn;
On this my steadfast soul relies:
Father, thy mercy never dies.

Father, thine everlasting grace
Our scanty thought surpasses far:
Thy heart still melts with tenderness;
Thy arms of love still open are,
Returning sinners to receive,
That mercy they may taste and live.

With faith I plunge me in this sea;
Here is my hope, my joy, my rest;
Hither, when hell assails, I flee;
I look into my Saviour's breast;
Away, sad doubt, and anxious fear!
Mercy is all that's written there.

Fix'd on this ground will I remain,
Though my heart fail, and flesh decay;
This anchor shall my soul sustain,
When earth's foundations melt away;
Mercy's full power I then shall prove,
Loved with an everlasting love.

On the Incarnation, Sufferings, Glory, and Work of Christ
HYMN 616

All ye that pass by,
To Jesus draw nigh:
To you is it nothing that Jesus should die?
Your ransom and peace,
Your surety he is;
Come, see if there ever was sorrow like his.

He answer'd for all;
O come at his call,
And low at his cross with astonishment fall.
But lift up your eyes
At Jesus's cries:
Impassive, he suffers; immortal, he dies.

For you and for me
He pray'd on the tree:
The prayer is accepted, the sinner is free.
That sinner am I,
Who on Jesus rely,
And come for the pardon God cannot deny.

His death is my plea;
My Advocate see,
And hear the blood speak that hath answer'd for me:
Acquitted I was
When he bled on the cross;
And by losing his life he hath carried my cause.

For what you have done,
His blood must atone:
The Father hath punish'd for you his dear Son.
The Lord, in the day
Of his anger, did lay
Your sins on the Lamb; and he bore them away.

He dies to atone
For sins not his own;
Your debt he hath paid, and your work he hath done.
Ye all may receive
The peace he did leave,
Who made intercession, "My Father, forgive!"

My pardon I claim;
For a sinner I am;
A sinner believing in Jesus's name.
He purchased the grace
Which now I embrace:
O Father, thou know'st he hath died in my place.


For Believers Rejoicing
HYMN 224

I'll praise my Maker while I've breath;
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne'er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

The Lord pours eye-sight on the blind;
The Lord supports the fainting mind;
He sends the labouring conscience peace;
He helps the stranger in distress,
The widow, and the fatherless,
And grants the prisoner sweet release.

Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel's God: he made the sky,
And earth, and seas, with all their train;
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves the' opprest, he feeds the poor,
And none shall find his promise vain.

I'll praise him while he lends me breath;
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne'er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

What do you think?

Internal Links of the Rix-Finch Collection

  Thomas Rix's Bible.

  The inscription in Thomas Rix's Bible.

  The Rix family gravesite in the St Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne.

Rix-Finch Collection Home

Martyn and Helen's Directory

Thomas & Mary Ann's FF2001 page

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