This section is from the book "A Library Of Wonders And Curiosities Found In Nature And Art, Science And Literature", by I. Platt. Also available from Amazon: A library of wonders and curiosities.
"While the Israelites had a remarkably high and pure conception of the spiritual attributes of Jehovah, their forms of worship were full of material observances, and their great law-giver, Moses, laid down the most minute directions as to the garb and ornaments that were to be worn by those who ministered at the altar. The Roman Catholic Church has very largely borrowed from the more ancient forms. Nothing can be grander in appearance than the dress worn by the High-Priest of Israel, while its ornamentation is full of symbolism appealing strongly to the imagination. This dress consisted of a robe, embroidered coat, and a girdle. The colors were blue, scarlet, purple, and white. Embellishing all was abundance of pure gold, the latter curiously enwreathed and interwoven. On the head was worn a high mitre. A rich, broad girdle surrounded the waist, of fine linen, blended in which were the colors of the robe and coat. Two onyx stones, in which were deeply graven the names of the tribes, six on each stone, were affixed, one on each shoulder, into ouches, or sockets, of gold. Upon the front was worn the Breastplate of Judgment, similar to the girdle in material (fine linen), workmanship, and colors. It was adorned with four rows of precious stones, in the following order: first row, a sardoin, a topaz, and a carbuncle; second row,an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst; fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. Upon each stone was engraven the name of a tribe. The stones were firmly set in a frame of pure gold. This breast-plate was fastened in its place by golden chains passing through rings of the same metal. In the Breastplate of Judgment were the Urim and Tnummin. The robe having an aperture left in it was passsed over the head in attiring. The hems and borders were elaborately worked with gold in figures of bells, and pomegranates, intermingled with threads of the colors already mentioned. In the front of the towering mitre was placed a fine gold plate, on which was engraved the Hebrew legend, Holiness to the Lord. Such was the imposing garb of the Jewish High-Priest, as he stood at the altar of the temple when the Roman legionaries waded through flame and gore, and dabbled the high place of Zion with the blood of the ministering servant of Jehovah.
A Jewish Priest.