When Christ the Lord would [shall] come on earth. H. Alford. [St. John Baptist.] In the Author's Hymns for the Sundays and Festivals throughout the Year, 1836, this hymn was appointed for St. John Baptist's Day: but on its transference to his Psalms & Hymns, 1844, it was given for the 3rd Sunday in Advent, No. vi., and marked in error as having been published in that collection for the first time. It is found in his Year of Praise, 1867, and Poetical Works, in the 8th edition of which it is dated 1835. Original text, in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871. It is in somewhat extensive use, and sometimes in an altered form, as in the Murray's Hymnal, 1852, with the same first line, but much altered and with the addition of a new stanza.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)