The Secret of the Ages
by Robert Collier
What makes a New Thought classic? Obviously most of these books are delivering the exact same message. Collier here demonstrates a combination of factors which seems to win over readers: a folksy--but not cornball--style, lots of inspirational quotes, particularly from the Bible, and, most of all, constant repetition of the theme that you, too, can tap the power of the Infinite, and get healthy and rich just by instructing your unconscious mind to do so.
The author, Robert Collier was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1885, and died in 1950. He was the nephew of Peter Fenelon Collier, founder of Collier's Weekly, the famous progressive muckraking magazine, which notably published Upton Sinclair's meat-packing expose. Robert Collier was a prolific author, and his works continue to be popular to this day with New Thought readers. The Secret of the Ages sold over 300,000 copies during his life.
I was fortunate to acquire a first edition of this book, published in seven slim volumes in 1926, and the section breakdown and pagination of this etext reflects this. However, the page numbering across the volumes is continuous, so this is essentially the equivalent of a 600 page book (although the pages are small, so a normal sized equivalent might have about 400 pages). Note that although the title pages state that this was originally copyrighted in 1925 under the title "The Book of Life," neither copyright nor online library records show any trace of a work by this name: this was copyrighted under the current title in 1926 and never renewed.
A check of the copyright records indicated that although this was registered with the US Copyright office, the copyright was not renewed, and hence it is in the public domain in the US. However, it is probably not in the public domain in other countries, since Collier died in 1950, and most countries use the date of death of the author plus 70.