But we had the sentence of death in ourselves
By the sentence of death is meant, not any decree of heaven, or appointment of God that they should die; nor any sentence of condemnation and death passed on them by the civil magistrate; but an opinion or persuasion in their own breasts, that they should die; so far were they from any hopes of life, that they looked upon themselves as dead men, as the Egyptians did, when their firstborn were slain, and said, "we be all dead men", ( Exodus 12:33 ) , and to this extremity they were suffered to be brought by the wise counsel of God, for the following purposes, to learn to lay aside all self-trust and confidence:
that we should not trust in ourselves;
in our strength, wisdom, and policy, to make our escape, and preserve our lives; and also to teach and encourage them to trust in God alone, and depend on his arm, on his almighty power:
but in God which raiseth the dead;
who will raise the dead at the last day, and so is able to deliver persons when they are in the most distressed condition, and in their own opinion as dead men.