Sanctioned by Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge of York, in 1780, gave its sanction to the working of five separated degrees or orders:
- The Entered Apprentice.
- The Fellowcraft.
- The Master Mason.
- The Royal Arch.
- The Knight Templar.
The United Grand Lodge of England, the Mother of regular and legitimate Freemasonry in the world, set forth at the time of the Union the following: "It is declared and pronounced that pure and Ancient Craft Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely, those of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Holy Royal Arch.
And that the Grand Lodge might not create any misconstruction of their declaration, it was added:
"This article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding meetings in any of the degrees of Chivalry, according to the Constitution of said Order."
Thus, the Order of the Temple was given an official place and standing in the structure of Masonry.
During the early and unwritten history of the Masonic Fraternity, there was a strong tone of Christianity which ran throughout the Symbolic structure, but by the time Anderson published his Constitutions, Christianity was virtually taken out of the ritual and Constitutions, because of a great desire to make the fraternity such as might be acceptable to men of any religion who subscribe to a belief in a Supreme Being.