RUSSEN, DAVID (fl. 1705), author, was in 1702 resident at Hythe, Kent. In 1703 he published ‘Iter Lunare; or a Voyage to the Moon.’ It was reissued in 1707. The book consists of a detailed account and criticism of Cyrano Bergerac's ‘Selenarchia,’ which Russen had read ‘with abundance of delight’ in the English version by Thomas St. Sere. He holds Bergerac's view that the moon was inhabited, and proposed to ascend to the moon by means of ‘a spring of well-tempered steel fastened to the top of a high mountain, having attached to it a frame or seat, the spring being with cords, pullies, or other engines bent, and then let loose by degrees by those who manage the pullies.’ The moon must be at the time of ascent ‘in the full in Cancer, and the engine must be so order'd in its ascent that that the top thereof must touch the moon when she comes to the meridian.’ The moon's motion must be exactly calculated to prevent the rotation of the earth carrying away the engine, and the distance from the top of the mountain exactly known. Russen opines it ‘possible in nature to effect such a spring, though 'tis a query if art will not be defective.’
Russen also published ‘Fundamentals without a Foundation, or a True Picture of the Anabaptists in their Rise, Progress, and Practice’ (1698?). There is no copy in the British Museum Library. A reply by Joseph Stennett appeared about 1699, and was reprinted in 1704. Russen made insinuations against the private character of Benjamin Keach [q. v.], the baptist preacher. A rejoinder to Stennett by James Barry, published in 1699, was reprinted in 1848.
[Russen's Iter Lunare; Stennett's reply to Fundamentals without a Foundation; Gent. Mag. 1777, pp. 506, 609.]
RUST, GEORGE (d. 1670), bishop of Dromore, was a native of Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. from St. Catharine's Hall early in 1647. He became a fellow of Christ's College in 1649, and proceeded M.A. in 1650. His reputation for learning was considerable even in youth. In 1655 he delivered a Latin discourse in St. Mary's, Cambridge, in answer to Pilate's question, ‘What is Truth?’ At the commencement of 1658 he maintained in the same place the thesis that scripture teaches the resurrection of the body, and that reason does not refute it. He belonged to the Cambridge Platonist school (Masson, Life of Milton, vi. 307), and among his friends at Christ's were Sir John Finch (1626–1682) [q. v.] and the learned Henry More (1614–1687) [q. v.] He was also intimate with Joseph Glanvill [q. v.], an Oxford man, but closely associated with More. He gave up his fellowship in 1659.
Soon after the Restoration, Rust was invited to Ireland by his fellow-townsman Jeremy Taylor [q. v.], ordained deacon and priest on the same day, 7 May 1661, and made dean of Connor in August. In 1662 he was presented by the crown to the rectory of Island Magee. On 20 Oct. 1663, preaching at Newtownards at the funeral of Hugh Montgomery, first earl of Mount Alexander [q. v.], Rust remarked, ‘New presbyter is but old priest writ large.’ Milton, whose