Saviour of sinful men. C. Wesley. [Meeting of Friends.] Published in Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1749, in 12 stanzas of 8 lines (Poetical Works, 1868-72, vol. v. p. 458.) In its full form it is not in common use, but divided, or broken up into centos, it is found in modern hymnbooks in the following forms :—
1. Saviour of sinful men. This, in 6 stanzas, was given in the Wesleyan Hymn Book, 1180, No. 470, and continued in later editions. It is also in other collections.
2. Guardian of sinful men. In 6 stanzas of 4 1ines in Martineau's Hymns, 1840, and his Hymns, &c, 1873.
3. Lord of the souls above. This in 6 stanzas of 4 lines also appeared in Martineau's Hymns, 1840, and 1873. The text is altered from the original.
4. 0 what a mighty change. In 3 stanzas of 8 lines in the American Methodist Episcopal Hymns, 1849.
Concerning the Wesleyan Hymn Book arrangement of the hymn Mr. G. J. Stevenson has some pleasing reminiscences in his Methodist Hymn Book Notes, 1883, p. 304. The centos in Martineau's Hymns are specially adapted for Death and Burial.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)