Ross, Alexander

, a voluminous author of the seventeenth century, was born in 1590 in Scotland, and became a divine, but left that country in Charles I.‘s reign, and was appointed one of his majesty’s chaplainsj and master of the free-school at Southampton. He died in 1654, leaving a handsome bequest to the above school, from which it is said he had retired for some time before his death, and passed the remainder of his days in the family of the Henleys of Hampshire, to whom he left a large library and a considerable sum of money, part of which was concealed among his books. Echard says “he was a busy, various, and voluminous writer, who by his pen and ether ways made a considerable noise and figure in these* times, and who so managed his affairs, that in the midst of these storms, he died very rich, as appears from the several benefactions he made.” We have a list before us of thirty pieces by this author, but whether published separately, each forming a volume, we know not. Most of them occur very seldom. Among them are some whose dates we have recovered, but cannot vouch for the accuracy of the list. 1. “Comment, de Terrae motu refutatum/’ Lond. 1634, 4to. 2.” The new Planet no Planet^ or, the earth no wandering star,“ibid. 1640, 4to, reprinted in 1646. 3.” Virgilius Evangelizans;“ibid. 1634, 8vo. This is a cento on the life of Christ, collected entirely from Virgil. Granger says it is ingenious, and was deservedly admired. 4.” Medicus medicatus, or, the physician’s religion cured,“ibid. 1645, 8vo. Th;s was one of the pieces in which he attacked the reputation of sir Thomas Browne in his” ReJigio Medici.“We find him returning to the charge afterwards in a work entitled, 5.” Refutation of Dr. Browne’s Vulgar Errors,“ibid. 1652, 8vo. 6.” Observations upon sir Kenelm Digby’s Discourse on the nature of Bodies,“ibid. 1645, 4to. 7.” The picture of the Conscience,“ibid. 1646, 12mo. 8.” The Muses’ Interpreter,“ibid. 1646, 8vo. 9.” Arcana Microcosmi,“ibid. 1651 and 1652, 12mo and 8vo. 10.” Observations upon Hobbes’s Leviathan,“ibid. 1653, 12mo. 11.” Observations upon sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World,“ibid. 12mo. After this he publishedA Continuation“of that history, which Granger calls his” great work;“but adds, that it is like a piece of bad Gothic tacked to a magnificent pile of Roman architecture, which serves to heighten the effect of it, while it exposes its own deficiency in strength and | beauty. 12.” An Epitome“of the same history. 13.A View of all Religions,“the work for which he is best known, and which has passed through variotfs editions, the sixth in 1683. It had the merit of being the first compilation of the kind in our language, and attained a great degree of popularity. 14.” Abridgment and translation of John Wollebius’s Christian divinity,“ibid. 1657, 8vo. 15*” Three Decades of Divine Meditations,“no date. This is one of his poetical works, and valued in the” Bibliotheca Anglo-Poetica“at Si. tis. 16.” Mel Helreonium, or, Poetical Honey gathered out of the weeds of Parnassus, &c.“ibid. 1642, 8vo. This, of which an account is given by Mr. Park in the” Censura Literaria,“is an attempt to spiritualize the Greek and Roman mythology. In moral and metre it resembles Quarles. Of the following works we have no dates:” De rebus Judaicis, libri quatuor,“in hexameter verse;” Rasura tonsoris,“prose;” Chymera Pythagoria;“”Meditations upon Predestination;“” Questions upon Genesis;“” Melissomachia;“”Four books of Epigrams,“in Latin elegiacs” Mystagogus poeticus“”ColloquiaPlantina;“” Chronology,“in English” Christiados poematis libri tredecim," with others, which seem of doubtful authority. 1


Cens. Lit. vol. IV. Grey’s Hudibras, where he is alluded to in two well-­known lines: “There was an ancient philosopher, Who had read Alexander over.” Lounger’s Common-place Book, vol. III. Granger, voL III.