"and his honor takes up a position on some lava rocks there and he commences to give us a address. It was like a sermon but it was no such sermon as any man of us had ever heard before."
Sermon on the Mount, by Carl Heinrich Bloch
Public DomainSermon on the Mount, by Carl Heinrich Bloch - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are a number of instances throughout Blood Meridian where McCarthy appears to draw parallels between Judge Holden and the Devil. Holden’s ‘sermon’, taking place as it does on a volcanic terrain associated with demons and evil spirits (see bookmark p.138), seems to be a Satanic inversion of the Sermon on the Mount. This is perhaps confirmed later when Holden finishes his address and the men are described following behind the Judge ‘like disciples of a new faith’ (p.137).