Stories of people being suddenly struck dumb by divine intervention were not as uncommon as this piece suggests, but here it is used as a salutary lesson for blasphemers.
“An awful instance of divine correction, of a nature which cannot fail to be admonitorily applied by all who hear of it, was experienced by a young man in this town on Monday last. Whilst giving reins to a vehemence of passion, and impiously uttering the most blasphemous expressions, he was, by visitation of Providence, suddenly struck dumb! Under this affliction, and in a state of mind, from remorse and contrition, the most deplorable, the unhappy young man, has remained ever since his intemperate and wicked behaviour and the infliction of this signal mark of divine displeasure. Amongst the light and incongruous materials of a newspaper, relations of a tenor so solemn as this so rarely occur, that we hope it will make a lasting and useful impression upon the profane, whether from principle or inadvertency.”
Stamford Mercury, 14th June, 1805.