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Luther’s Hymn, “In Devil’s Dungeon Chained I Lay”

In his classic biography of Martin Luther, Here I Stand, Roland Bainton records Luther’s hymn, “In Devil’s Dungeon Chained I Lay.” What a beautiful, poetic proclamation of the gospel! How I need to be reminded that God “turned to me his father heart” and then to hear the Lord Jesus say, “Hold thou to me, from now on thou wilt make it”!

I have posted it on my office door for this week’s poem of the week.

“In devil’s dungeon chained I lay
The pangs of death swept o’er me.
My sin devoured me night and day
In which my mother bore me.
My anguish ever grew more rife,
I took no pleasure in my life
And sin had made me crazy.

Then was the Father troubled sore
To see me ever languish.
The Everlasting Pity swore
To save me from my anguish.
He turned to me his father heart
And chose himself a bitter part,
His Dearest did it cost him.

Thus spoke the Son, “Hold thou to me,
From now on thou wilt make it.
I gave my very life for thee
And for thee I will stake it.
For I am thine and thou art mine,
And where I am our lives entwine,
The Old Fiend cannot shake it.”

- Martin Luther

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