Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), or “The Great Divine,” was a man of many talents – clergyman, orator, writer, social reformer. Simply put, he was as close to a celebrity as you could find in the nineteenth century. He was an ardent abolitionist and a proponent of both the temperance and women’s suffrage movements. Every week, Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights was filled to capacity with people eager to hear his captivating words. Beecher’s sermons were also published weekly under the title “Plymouth Pulpit.” This particular pamphlet, “The Nature of Liberty,” is indicative of Beecher’s religious philosophy emphasizing God’s absolute love. He speaks of a free religious condition as “a transfer from a life compelled by fear, through conscience, to a life that is inspired and made spontaneous by love.” Click the image to expand.