ALESIUS, ALEXANDER (Latinized form of Aless; known also as Alane)

Protestant reformer; b. in Edinburgh Apr. 23, 1500; d. in Leipsic Mar.17, 1565. He studied at St. Andrews and became canon there. In 1527 he tried to induce Patrick Hamilton (q.v.) to recant, attended him at the stake the next year, and was himself converted to the reformed doctrines. To escape from the harsh treatment of the provost of St. Andrews he fled to Germany (1532). Commended to Henry VIII. and Cranmer by Melanchthon, he went to England in 1535. For a short time he lectured on divinity at Cambridge, studied and practised medicine in London, and was much esteemed by the reforming party there till 1540, when he went back to Germany and became professor at Frankfort-on-the-Oder, removing three years later to Leipsic. He was closely associated with the German reformers, especially Melanchthon, and was honored and trusted by them, although a desire to conciliate and a belief that concord was possible where differences were irreconcilable made him sometimes appear vacillating and paradoxical. He wrote several exegetical works on different books of the Bible, and a large number of dogmatic and polemical treatises, such as De Scriptus Legendis in Lingua materna (Leipsic, 1533); De autoritate verbi Dei (Strasburg, 1542), against Bishop Stokesley of London concerning the number of the sacraments; De justificatione contra Osiandrum (Wittenberg, 1552); Contra Michaelem Servetum ejusque blasphemias disputationes tres (Leipsic, 1554).