An Ancient Bible

274 Years Old


Article from the Napanee Express Feb. 24, 1893




†††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† Seven generations in one family.†† One of the relics of the late C. V. Benson.At the residence of Portland Benson, in the township of Sophiasburgh, county of Prince Edward, may be seen an old relic in the shape of a Bible.It was printed in the Holland Dutch language at Amsterdam in the years 1618-1619.It has been handed down in the Benson family for six generations, the youngest son falling heir to it.This book is no small volume, it being 14 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 6 inches thick.It has ornamental brass corners, some of which have torn off.There has also been brass clasps, which have been broken.The board covers have been split, but have been fixed by recent generations with slats put across them, which have been nailed and clinched.The leaves of the book have turned quite brown with age.The book contains an Index, the Old Testament, Apocryphs, Concordance and New Testament.The chapters are numbered by using the Roman numerals, the Dutch style of letters being used.The verses are numbered by English figures.There are several maps, most of them torn, and several leaves both in the front and back of the book are gone.There are no autographs written by any of the former generations, or if there has been they have been torn out.On a whole it shows its antiquity.As for the book being in the Benson family for 7 generations, Matthew Benson, a U. E. Loyalist, came from the U. S. about the year 1783 and settled in Prince Edward Co.He was a Dutchman and could read this Bible, and he said he was the third generation of youngest sons that the book had been handed down to, which would mean that he was the fourth generation that had had this book.The book has probably come to America shortly after it was printed, for the Dutch portion of America was given to England in a treaty of peace between England and Holland, 1670.After this the Dutch would not be so likely to come to America.It evidently stayed in the United States for a hundred years or more, and then came with Matthew Benson to Canada about the year 1783.Matthew Bensonís youngest sons were twins, namely Richard and John Benson.the Bible after Matthewís death was disputed as to the owner, and sometimes it was in one family and sometimes in the other.It was taken from John Bensonís family and given to W. H. Benson, the youngest son of Richard Benson.He by moving about the country, the book got in strangers hands.Portland Benson, grandson of John Benson, found the book and purchased it back into John Bensonís family from Rev. W. D. P. Wilson.Portland Benson is the youngest son of the late C. V. Benson.The Bibleís lineage would be, Matthew Benson, a U.E. Loyalist, was the third generation of youngest son, fourth generation that had possessed the book.John Benson, his youngest son, Cornelius V. Benson, his second son, Portland Benson, his youngest son.John Bensonís youngest son was Richard Benson, who died in his youth.Heldbrand Benson was the next youngest, and his youngest son is Arkland Benson, the rightful heir.He at present is in Australia, too far away to lay any claim to the book.This Bible is truly an ancient relic its equal would be hard to find in this new country.In olden times things were made substantial, so as to last for ages, and prized for their age, but this new country and these last generation have too much love for change, and a greater desire for things that are new, to preserve anything that is old.And then to think that it has been for seven generations in this family shows that for this length of time they have been true converts to the Christian faith, if not always a true follower of Christ.It also shows that they have been true to their principles, in as much as, leaving their ancient home, Holland, for America and again leaving the United States for Canada, simply for their love of true principles.What greater evidence could we ask for their love of truth, which was taught in the book they preserved and cherished.