Notes from the Little Flock Hymn Book by Adrian Roach:
This writer was born about the year 750 of a noble Gothic family, probably in Spain. He found favour in the Frankish Court, and was made Abbot of Fleury and Saint Aignan. In 781 he became bishop of Orleans. He strongly supported Charlmagne's principles of government and education. He established schools and by his own literary achievements was an honoured member of the learned circle which had formed round the great King of the Franks. But we know from the Word of God that this is not the time for the Christian to be seeking a high place nor to seek to put the world right. John 17:16 tells us "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world". Christ's Kingdom is not of this world, so we as His servants need not fight for a better world by ballots, bullets or boycotts. (John 18:36). In the days of Theodulf this was not recognised, not do all the Lord's people today accept this truth. He continued to help reform the clergy and monasteries and was awarded by Pope Leo III for his wise handling of a matter.
After the death of Charlemagne, he was accused (it is considered falsely) of taking part in a conspiracy on behalf of Bernard of Italy, and in 818 was imprisoned at Angers (Anjou), France. No charge of guilt was ever proven against him. He died in prison in 821, presumably of poison. His hymn is the only evidence of his faith in the Lord Jesus, and is the oldest in the book. Some believe he composed it and first sang it, while in prison. In its original form, the hymn consisted of no less than thirty nine verses in the English translation.
Theodulf's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is the chorus of no. 144. "Glory, honour, praise and power, Be unto the Lamb for ever". The verses were written by John Wesley.