Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Grosse, Alexander

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GROSSE, ALEXANDER (1596?–1654), presbyterian divine, born about 1596, was the son of William Grosse, husbandman of Christow, Devonshire. After attending Exeter school for five years, he was admitted sizar of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, on 26 July 1618, and proceeded M.A. (College Admission Register, ed. Venn, p. 138). He became a preacher at Plympton St. Mary, Devonshire, but, wishing to attend Professor John Prideaux's divinity lectures at Oxford, he entered himself a sojourner in Exeter College, was incorporated M.A., and on 23 Feb. 1632 commenced B.D. (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 466, 467). On the death of Henry Wallis in January 1633-4, Grosse was elected by the corporation of Plymouth to the vicarage of St. Andrew in that town. He was, however, refused institution by Bishop Hall (Rows, Old Plymouth, ii. 34, 55). On 16 Jan. 1638-9 he was presented by the crown to the rectory of Bridford, Devonshire (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1638-9, p. 319), and in or after 1647 obtained the rich vicarage of Ashburton in the same county, 'where he, being a presbyterian, and a sider with the times, was much frequented by people of that persuasion' (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 358-9). He died in the beginning of 1654, and was buried at Ashburton (Letters of Administration, P. C. C., granted on 5 May 1654 to his widow, Pascow). His son, Alexander Grosse, became an undergraduate of Exeter College in 1638.

Grosse was author of:

  1. 'Sweet and Soule-perswading Inducements leading unto Christ,' 4to, London, 1632.
  2. 'The Happiness of enjoying and making a true and speedy Use of Christ. … [Three Sermons] … Whereunto is added, St. Paul's Legacie, or Farewell to the Men of Corinth,' 8vo, London, 1640.
  3. 'Deaths Deliverance and Eliahes Fiery Chariot, or the Holyman's Triumph after Death. Delivered in two sermons preached at Plymouth, … the former [on Isaiah lvii. 1, 2] at the Funerall of Thomas Sherwill, … 1631,' 8vo. London, 1640 (containing the sermon on T. Sherwill only).
  4. 'A Fiery Pillar of Heavenly Truth: shewing the way to a Blessed Life. Composed 'by way of Catechisme' [anon.], 8vo, London, 1641; 2nd edition, 1644; 10th edition, 1663.
  5. 'The Mystery of Self-Denial; or the Cessation of Man's Living to Himself, and the Inchoations of Christ's Living in Man,' 4to, London, 1642.
  6. 'Man's Misery without Christ, opening the Sinful, Perplexed, Dishonourable, and Soul-destroying Condition of Man without Christ,' 4to, London, 1642.
  7. 'Christ the Christian's Choice; or a Sermon [on Phil. i. 23] preached at the Funerall of John Caws, one of the Magistrates of … Plymouth,' 4to, London, 1645.
  8. 'The Buddings and Blossomings of Old Truths; or severall practicall points of Divinity, gathered out of … John iii. 22, ad finem,' 8vo, London, 1656, edited by John Welden, a presbyterian minister, of Stratcley in Ermington, Devonshire.

He wrote two other treatises, 'The Anatomy of the Heart' and 'On Sacred Things.'

[Authorities cited; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

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