The Magi, are they absolute kings or dependent on a greater empire? or are they only great lords, which gave them the name of kings, according to the custom of their country? Or are they only sages, philosophers, the arbiters of religion in the empire of the Persians or, as it was called then, in that of the Parthians, or in some part of this empire which extended by all the East? Do you think I am going to resolve these doubts and satisfy your curious desires? You are wrong; I did not take pen in hand to teach you the thoughts of men; I will only tell you that they were the scholars of their country, observers of the stars, whom God takes by their attraction, rich and powerful, as their presents make it appear; if they were among those who presided over religion, God had made himself known to them, and they had renounced the worship of their country.
This is what the higher sciences should lead to. Philosophers nowadays, of whatever rank you are, or observers of the stars, or contemplators of the lower nature and attached to what is called physics, or occupied with the abstract sciences called mathematics, where truth seems to preside more than in the others, I do not mean that you do not have worthy objects of your thoughts, because from truths to truths you can reach God who is the truth of truths, the source of the truth, the truth even, where there are the truths which you call eternal, the unchanging and unchanging truths, which can only be truth. All who open their eyes see in themselves, and nevertheless above themselves, since they regulate their reasonings like those of others and preside over the knowledge of all that sees and that hears, whether men or angels. It is this truth that you must seek in your sciences. So cultivate these sciences, but do not let yourself be absorbed in them. Do not presume or believe that you are something more than others, because you know the properties and the reasons for greatness and smallness, vain food for curious and weak minds which, after all, does not lead to anything that exists and which has nothing solid as so much as by the love of the truth and the habit of knowing it in certain objects, it makes one seek the true and useful certainty in God alone.
And you, observers of the stars, I offer you an admirable way of observing them. David was a wise observer of the stars, when he said: I will see your heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you founded! Imagine a quiet and beautiful night which, in a clear and pure sky, spreads all its fires. It was during such a night that David looked at the stars, for he does not speak of the sun; the moon and the army of heaven that follows it were the object of his contemplation. Elsewhere he still says: The heavens declare the glory of God; but, in the following, he stops on the sun: God has established, he says, his abode in the sun, which comes out richly adorned like milk a new bridegroom from the place of his rest; and the rest, whence it rises to the more beautiful and vivid light of the law. This is how the beauty of the day operates in David’s mind. But in the other psalm, where he sees only that of the night, he enjoys a sacred silence, and, in a beautiful darkness, he contemplates the soft light that the night presents to him to rise from there to that. that shines alone among the darkness. You who rise up in the night and lift up innocent hands to God in darkness and silence; solitary men and you Christians, who praise God in darkness, worthy observers of the beauties of heaven, you will see the star which will lead you to the great king who has just been born.