Wednesday, 25 November, 1829

I have again seen one of those traits in Wm. A. Lash, proving the correctness of my ideas expressed the first moment I saw him. He took the advantage of a poor man in distress for my buying a note on a good man, due in a few days. He would not let him have the money short of twenty-five percent. Now if this man wished to speculate on this money, I could not blame Lash so much, but the man wanted to save a home, a shelter for a wife and children. Such advantages taken by the rich are condemnable. Where is there a man that under all circumstances will act strictly honest and upright? I do believe from my own observations that there are very few individuals who do, in all instances, act honest. If you will but observe the bent of nine-tenths of the human family, you will be astonished at the acts of dishonesty committed. And I believe the proportion among professors of religion is equal to that of the heathen. It may be asked, why men are dishonest? And it may be answered that we are so taught from infancy and that the great sum of thought among mankind is not how we shall act to be honest, but how can we get the advantage to serve our own interest and to evade the law. What avails the precepts of age to the youth when he sees the example in every transaction, even of those whose percepts have been to the reverse. Self-love and interest appears to be the strongest pasion of the human family; consequently, to each individual it appears of the most iportance. We should have, it is true, respect for ourselves; but we should regard the feelings of our fellow man.