The phrase that dominates this hymn, “to the regions beyond,” is taken from the words of Paul in Second Corinthians.
Having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. But ”˜he who glories, let him glory in the Lord’” (II Cor. 10:15-17).
Or, as J. B. Philips has it, “Our hope is that your growing faith will mean the expansion of our proper sphere of action, so that before long we shall be preaching the gospel in districts beyond you.”
Particularly in the Christian missionary work of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that phrase, “the regions beyond,” came to represent the goal and passion of many servants of Christ. One of these was Canadian pastor and missionary statesman Albert Simpson.