As he reasoned of righteousness - Δικαιοσυνης ; The principles and requisitions of justice and right, between God and man; and between man and his fellows, in all relations and connections of life.
Temperance - Εγκρατειας, Chastity; self-government or moderation with regard to a man's appetites, passions, and propensities of all kinds.
And judgment to come - Κριματος του μελλοντος ; The day of retribution, in which the unjust, intemperate, and incontinent, must give account of all the deeds done in the body. This discourse of St. Paul was most solemnly and pointedly adapted to the state of the person to whom it was addressed. Felix was tyrannous and oppressive in his government; lived under the power of avarice and unbridled appetites; and his incontinence, intemperance, and injustice, appear fully in depriving the king of Emesa of his wife, and in his conduct towards St. Paul, and the motives by which that conduct was regulated. And as to Drusilla, who had forsaken the husband of her youth, and forgotten the covenant of her God, and become the willing companion of this bad man, she was worthy of the strongest reprehension; and Paul's reasoning on righteousness, temperance, and judgment, was not less applicable to her than to her unprincipled paramour.
Felix trembled - "The reason of Felix's fear," says Bp. Pearce, "seems to have been, lest Drusilla, who was a Jewess, and knew that what she had done was against the law of Moses, might be influenced by Paul's discourse, and Felix's happiness with her disturbed. What is said of Felix, Acts 24:26, seems to show that he had no remorse of conscience for what he had done." On the head of Drusilla's scruples, he had little to fear; the king of Emesa, her husband, had been dead about three years before this; and as to Jewish scruples, she could be little affected by them: she had already acted in opposition to the Jewish law, and she is said to have turned heathen for the sake of Felix. We may therefore hope that Felix felt regret for the iniquities of his life; and that his conscience was neither so seared nor so hardened, as not to receive and retain some gracious impressions from such a discourse, delivered by the authority, and accompanied with the influence, of the Spirit of God. His frequently sending for the apostle, to speak with him in private, is a proof that he wished to receive farther instructions in a matter in which he was so deeply interested; though he certainly was not without motives of a baser kind; for he hoped to get money for the liberation of the apostle.
Go thy way for this time - His conscience had received as much terror and alarm as it was capable of bearing; and probably he wished to hide, by privacy, the confusion and dismay which, by this time, were fully evident in his countenance.