In Queen Elizabeth’s injunctions “concerning both the clergy and laity of this realm,” issued in 1559, the first year of her reign, are the following passages:
III. “Item, that they, the parsons above rehearsed, shall preach in their churches and every other cure they have, one sermon every month of the year at least, wherein they shall purely and sincerely declare the word of God, and in the same exhort their hearers to the works of faith, as mercy and charity, specially prescribed and commanded in Scripture; and that the works devised by man’s fantasies, besides Scripture (as wandering of pilgrimages, setting up of candles, praying upon beads, or such like superstition), have not only no promise of reward of Scripture for dong them, but contrariwise great threatenings and maledictions of God, for that they be things tending to idolatry and superstition, which of all other offenses God Almighty doth most detest and abhor, for that the same diminish most his honor and glory.” (Card., Doc. Ann., vol.i. pp. 212, 213.)
XXIII. “Also, that they shall take away, utterly extinct, and destroy all shrines, covering of shrines, all tables, candlesticks, trindalls, rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition, so that there remain no memory of the same in walls, glass windows, or elsewhere within their churches and houses.” And in Injunction XXV. , men are exhorted not to bestow their substance upon “the decking of images” and “other like blind devotions.” – (Ibid. p. 221.)
In 1551, Burnet thinks, previously to the last injunctions, certain bishops and divines addressed the Queen against the use of images, citing passages in Deuteronomy, St. John, Tertullian and other writers. In 1560 Bishop Jewell put out his famous challenge to the Papists, defying them to prove, inter alia, “that images were then set up in the church” (that is, in the primitive churches) “to the intent the people might worship them,” using almost the words of St. Stephen, already adverted to, but very remarkable words to have been used in 1560, showing pretty clearly that he who was supposed to be the writer of the Homily on the peril of idolatry did not object on principle to all images in churches, but to images set up to be worshipped.
About the same time the Queen put out a “proclamation against the defacers of monuments in churches.”
“Elizabeth. – The Queen’s Majesty understanding that by means of sundry people, partly ignorant, partly malicious or covetous, there hath been of late years spoiled and broken certain ancient monuments, some of metal, some of stone, which were erected up as well in churches as in other public places within this realm, only to show a memory to the posterity of the persons there buried, or that had been benefactors to the buildings or donations of the same churches or public places, and not to nourish any kind of superstition; by which means not only the churches and places remain at this present day spoiled, broken, and ruinated, to the offense of all noble and gentle hearts, and the extinguishing of the honorable and good memory of sundry virtuous and noble persons deceased; but also the true understanding of divers families in this realm (who have descended of the blood of the same persons deceased) is thereby so darkened as the true course of their inheritance may be hereafter interrupted, contrary to justice; besides many other offenses that hereof do ensure, to the slander of such as either gave or had charge in times past, only to deface monuments of idolatry and false feigned images in church and abbey; and therefore, although it be very hard to recover things broken and spoiled, yet both to provide that no such barbarous disorder be hereafter used, and to repair as much of the said monuments as conveniently may be, Her Majesty chargeth and commandeth all manner of persons hereafter to forbear the breaking or defacing of any parcel of any monument, or tomb, or grave, or other inscription and memory of any person deceased, being in any manner of place: or to break any image of kings, princes, or noble estates of this realm, or of any other that have been in times past erected and set up for the only memory of them to their posterity, in common churches, and not for any religious honor, or to break down and deface any image in glass windows in any church without the consent of the ordinary, upon pain that whosoever shall herein be found to offend, to be committed to the next gaol…” – (Card., Doc. Ann., vol.i. p. 289)