The Rev. Samuel Sharp, having been called to the Chair, said,—
Ladies and Gentlemen,—I regret exceedingly that the Council have not been able to find a better President than myself, because I do think that a man who stands in the responsible situation in which you have now done me the honour to place me, ought to know something of the subject on which he is to speak. It does so happen that I know scarcely any thing of Geology. All I know is, that it is a most entertaining subject, and one well deserving the attention of every person who has leisure to devote to it; but it is a subject which must require considerable time, and that time I have not had it in my power to devote. No person, I think, can take the least notice of the surface of the earth, without observing that at some period, and by some means or other, great and extraordinary changes have taken place. The object of the study of Geology, if I know what it is, appears to me to be to ascertain, as well as the limited faculties of the human mind will admit, when these changes took place, and what was the great and prevailing cause that effected them. There has been a prejudice against this study in the minds of some persons, extremely well disposed, but perhaps, of rather timid dispositions, who have thought that the study of Geology might lead, or, at all events, ...
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